Those wanting to purchase stamp papers for real estate registration or inking rental agreements are faced with a no supply reply and some say that vendors either sell stamp papers for a profit or put a condition that the ‘agreement' or any other transaction should be processed by them.

People looking to buy stamp papers for real estate registrations or inking rental agreements are facing a bizarre situation in the capital. Walk into any private stamp vendor, the stock reply is that there is a severe shortage of stamp papers. Vendors either sell stamp papers for a profit or put a condition that the ‘agreement' or any other transaction should only be processed by them.

A majority of the vendors in the capital unanimously maintain that stamp papers of denominations Rs. 10, Rs. 20, Rs. 50 and Rs. 100 are in short supply. Many said that they have stopped dealing with stamp papers of Rs. 10 and Rs. 20 denominations because they are perennially in short supply. Private vendors say that stamp papers of denominations Rs. 50 and Rs. 100 are printed in the Security Press at Nasik, Maharashtra and there is always a delay in supply due to logistical issues. The Rs. 10 and Rs. 20 denomination stamp papers are printed in Hyderabad, but they too are in short supply, vendors often maintain.

While private vendors claim of shortage, the local sub-registrar offices in the capital are well stocked with stamp papers. “Vendors are minting money but nobody is questioning them. The Rs. 50 stamp paper is being sold for Rs. 150 and stamp paper worth Rs. 100 is being sold for Rs. 200. Buyers are taken for a ride because many keep quiet or do not have time to visit local sub-registrar office,” says Sonti Viswanadham, a resident from Chikkadpally.

“Till recently, a rental agreement never used to cost more than Rs. 20. Now, I am paying over Rs. 400 for the stamp paper, agreement and the notary work. Why can't the government ensure proper supply of stamp paper in all parts of Hyderabad?” asks Rammohan Reddy, a resident of Uppal.

According to the vendors, Rs, 50 and Rs. 100 stamp papers are most in demand denominations. “We are selling stamp papers only for those who finalise agreements through us. There is a severe shortage of stamp papers because the government is not supplying them to us regularly,” says a Franking and Stamp Vendor at Vengalraonagar.

Some squarely blame it on the sub-registrar office for the short supply. “They never supply stamp papers on time. Due to sluggish supply, we have completely stopped dealing with Rs. 10 and Rs. 20 denominations. We are also trying to encourage customers to accept the franking system as a viable alternative for stamp papers,” said a vendor at Sai Nandini Enterprises, KPHB Colony.

Assistant Inspector General (AIG), Stamps and Registrations, Sanjeeva Reddy, however, blames the situation on stamp vendors. The AIG also warned vendors who indulge in sale of stamp papers in the black in Hyderabad.

“They are creating an artificial short supply. There is ample stock of stamp papers at all the sub-registrar offices. General public should not to depend on private vendors. They should visit our offices and purchase directly,” says Mr. Reddy.