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North-east traders aim to expand trade via Pragati Maidan fair

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New Delhi: Exhibitors from northeast Indian states like Nagaland, Assam and Manipur hope to spread awareness about their homeland and expand business at the ongoing 35th edition of India International Trade Fair here.

Be it dry flowers made from corn, maize or mushroom, or tea and traditional outfits, the stalls of northeast India are offering all this and more at the fair, which will conclude on November 27 at Pragati Maidan.

“It’s my first time here. Dry flowers are very popular in Delhi, so my friends told me to participate in the fair,” flower designer Aren Jamir from Nagaland told IANS.

Another exhibitor from the state brought colourful dreamcatchers (a handmade object based on a hoop that is hung by the window or at the head of a bed for good luck) to the fair. Women can also buy earrings and neckpieces inspired by the dreamcatcher in colours like yellow, red and purple, to up the fashion quotient.

The Nagaland stall also has loin loom products, shawls with shells, bags, jackets and mobile phone pouches.

“We have fests and exhibitions in Nagaland too and we earn profit. Delhi is expensive, but we are here to find new customers and to promote our products,” said Asezo Khanyo, a weaver from Nagaland.

And of course, the dry king chilli, dry bamboo shoot and sticky rice also made it to the shelves of the stall.

One exhibitor from Assam hopes to make the most of the business days, which are on at the fair till November 18.

“I would love the public to buy as many products as possible from our stall, but even business days are important. There are so many business people from other parts of the country and abroad. So, I hope we are able to strike a deal with them,” said Kamal Deka, a salesman of tea company J.M. Enterprise.

The Assam stall also has eri and muga silk products, handmade paper made from sugarcane and citronella plant for home decor, water hyacinth bags, bamboo spoons and knives.

The Manipur stall, offering traditional wares, also has lots of handloom products — muga silk, kurtas, dupattas, phanek and jackets.

“There are lots of Manipuri women in Delhi and since it’s festive season, we thought of bringing all these products. Women from North India can wear the saris, if not the phanek (wraparound outfit for women),” said S. Chaotombi from Manipur.

Tripura’s stall has mostly housed cane furniture, which aroused interest in a lot of consumers on the first day of the exposition.

Cane products like glass-holders, pen stands, cups and plates can also be bought from Meghalaya stall.

(IANS)

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PM Narendra Modi’s Demonetisation Move continues to Hurt Local Traders in Delhi with 50-90 Percent dip in their Businesses

These traders have not yet adopted the modern practice of transaction, the online payment facilities

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New Delhi, November 23, 2016: Business activity in the bustling markets of Old Delhi has slowed down as a fallout of the demonetization that continues to hurt the local traders even after two long weeks.

While malls and big showrooms are said to have picked up business after the initial slump, small and medium level traders in local markets are still facing 50-90 per cent dip in their business.

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The reason — these traders have not yet adopted the modern practice of transaction, the online payment facilities.

Most of these traders in Chandni Chowk and surrounding markets do not have online payment facility, which drives customers away, said Chandni Chowk Sarv Vyapar Mandal’s General Secretary Sanjay Bhargava.

“Despite strong competition from malls and e-commerce portals, these local traders so far had managed to retain and grow their customer base,” Bhargava said.

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“However, ever since the note ban, customers are avoiding shopping at the local markets because they have insufficient cash. And local traders lack online payment facility,” said Bhargava.

Pankaj Manocha from Chawri Bazaar, a wholesale trader in paper who traditionally deals in cash-based transaction, said the paper mills stopped the supply of paper as the demand in the retail shops had gone down.

“Neither customers have cash to buy paper products from us nor we have enough cash to place new orders with the mills,” Manocha said.

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New ways of payment have to be devised in order to thrive in the business, Manocha said.

Some traders have started using e-wallets to attract customers but their number is insignificant.

According to the traders, the clothing business is the worst hit by the demonetisation, despite November being the wedding season.

A wholesale trader said that the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes on November 8 affected the traditional business transaction style.

“Earlier, transactions with factories, main distributors, even with customers were carried out using cash, which would be without bill, thus without payment of tax.”

“However, we have to make payment online or in cheques now, which is making the goods costlier. It has hampered our business. We will have to see how things turn,” said the trader, requesting anonymity.

Some traders felt that the situation would be normalised, perhaps in another six months, once they started using different modes of payment.

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Mukesh Sachadeva, General Secretary of Delhi Hindustani Mercantile Association, said: “The current slowdown is due to cash crunch. Since footfall has gone down, the supply from factories and mills has reduced.”

“Now, we are adapting to the changes. We expect that all traders will start using cheques in six months’ time.” (IANS)