Shortage of low denomination stamp papers hits North Andaman

Report by: 
26 Jul 2018

Stamp papers of lower denominations have all but disappeared from the headquarter region of the North and Middle Andaman District, forcing citizens to purchase higher denomination stamp papers for petty affidavits, lease agreements etc. Harried litigants and applicants can be seen enquiring about stamps of lower denomination from the staff posted in the office of the Deputy Commissioner of North and Middle Andaman and the court. People have started venting their ire against the authorities for repeated scarcity of stamps and non-judicial bond papers.
As per reports, stamp papers of lower denomination have exhausted from the region for the past more than two weeks. The crucial stamp paper is required for various purposes like executing affidavits, agreements, registration of land, power of attorneys etc. Even teachers appointed under the Sarva Shikha Abhiyan are required to furnish an agreement in a stamp paper to get employment under the scheme. Owing to the shortage, black marketing of stamp papers have seen a sharp rise in the region as a Rs 100/- stamp paper is sold for a whopping Rs 1000/-.
“I have been running from pillar to post searching for an elusive Rs. 20/- stamp for some revenue related work but the stamps of higher denomination were only available. Left with no other option, I had to purchase a Rs 100 bond paper in black from a private vendor for a whopping for Rs 500.  Shortage of bond papers in the DC office here has now become a recurring phenomena, fumed a man in the front of the DC Office vendor. “I too have come from quite a faraway village looking for a Rs. 20/ stamp for the purpose of a sale agreement. But I am informed that lower denomination stamps papers have exhausted and that I will have to purchase a 100 rupee stamp paper. I had to return back dejected as it makes no sense to purchase a Rs 100 stamp paper for such paltry work,” lamented a middle-aged woman from remote Restcamp village.
Speaking to EOI, the Assistant Commissioner (HQ), Mr Mahesh Kumar Gupta informed that for stamp papers of higher denomination, the administration has implemented the e-stamping services recently. "For lower denomination stamp papers, the administration has inked an agreement with Canara Bank from where general public can purchase e-stamps (non-judicial) for various purposes. However, as there is no branch of Canara Bank at Mayabunder, requisition has already been sent to the Deputy Commissioner of South Andaman for supply of lower denomination stamp papers. We expect delivery of the stamp papers soon after which the same will be disbursed to the need people of this region,” he said.