Following the Telgi scandal the Karnataka government had a great brainwave. They decided that one of the reasons duplicate stamp papers were in circulation was that stamp paper was available freely. The only remedy to this, it was decided, was to restrict sales of stamp paper. So now the street corner guy doesn’t sell the paper. Initially it was supposed to be available at a few select branches of the State Bank of Mysore. Currently, it is available in only one place in Bangalore – the head office of SBM.
A stamp paper is an extremely important and necessary document, and especially necessary if you need to transfer some stuff. Say some property or some assets or even a gas connection. And given that the number of such transactions hasn’t come down, and that people continue to die, the demand for stamp paper remains high. The supply is now restricted, and to get a stamp paper you need to stand in line for a few hours in the hot sun.
Given this situation of restricted supply, and assuming that people are not cancelling their transactions becasue of the lack of availability of the paper, I’m wondering where the paper is available. Is the only option to pay someone trusted in order to stand in line for half a day and get you the paper? Is there no better method? A semi-skilled labourer earns about Rs. 250 per day, so to make him fetch you a stamp paper that is notionally worth Rs. 20, you have to pay about Rs. 130 extra!
I’m sure there exists a black market in this. My problem is that I’m not able to find it. I’ve noticed that when the people at the counter issue the paper, they write your name and address on it. Nevertheless, i’m sure some black marketers have found a way in order to bypass this and peddle the papers. And as I mentioned, that the volume of deals hasn’t been going down implies there are more sales than what happens in that single window at the SBM office.
I’m willing to pay up to Rs. 100 each for a Karnataka government stamp paper that costs Rs. 20. Can someone direct me to the black market where these things are available? Many thanks in advance.