A black market of stamp paper is flourishing in the city with there being an acute shortage of stamp papers of the lower denomination in Guwahati.

Vendors here are mostly selling Rs 500 stamp paper as stamp papers of Rs 1, Rs 2, Rs 5, Rs 10, Rs 20, and Rs 50 are not easily available in the premises of the Deputy Commissioner’s court in the city.

They now charge inflated lawyer rates ranging from Rs 60 for Rs 20 stamp paper to Rs 100 for Rs 50 stamp paper.

As such the overall lawyers’ charge fees have seen a hike because of input costs that also comprise the inflated rates of scarce stamp paper.

In fact, some lawyers have also hoarded the stamp paper during the lockdown, said a report quoting a lawyer on condition of anonymity.

According to sources, the stamp papers of the lower denomination have been in short supply for the past two years, due to which many vendors have to procure them from other districts and then sell them at inflated prices citing transportation cost.

The report quoted Kamrup (Metro) deputy commissioner, Biswajit Pegu saying he has written to the authorities concerned regarding the dearth of stamp paper.

“We take action against vendors whenever we receive any specific report of their indulging in black marketing of stamp papers,” said Pegu.

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