India International Trade Fair: Old notes accepted, but no buyers around
Disheartened with the turnout at the India International Trade Fair (IITF), Pragati Maidan, many international traders are glad that the fair will not take place next year. Most of the international exhibitors are accepting old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000, yet few visitors are turning up. “We have brought lots of fancy decoratives such as ceramic items with detailed carvings and double-glass lamps. But the footfall is so low that there are hardly any takers for these exquisite pieces. I am happy to know that the fair will not happen next year, at least we will be saved of the trouble to travel till here,” says Hakan, who mans one of the Turkish stalls.
Fardin Khan, from Afghanistan pavilion, who is a Delhiite, believes that demonetisation has been at a wrong time. “Till now, I have sold products amounting to just Rs 500, which is nothing compared to last year. When the government knew that events like the trade fair are going to happen, and the move will affect the sales, they should have thought about our business,” says Khan.
The currency ban has also inspired the vendors to come up with exciting offers. “To help customers in spending their old notes, we have several offers. These include a set of three ceramic bowls (worth Rs 400 each) for Rs 1000 instead of Rs 1200,” says Anam Arora, another stall manager at the Turkish pavilion.
“We have been putting up the stall for the last fifteen years, but footfall has never been so low. We easily sell pearl sets that cost more than Rs. 1 lakh during the initial days of the fair. This year, we have sold products worth only Rs 900,” says Yash Kalra, manager of a Chinese stall.