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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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Representational image. Wikimedia

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.

Some traders have started using e-wallets to attract customers. Click To Tweet

“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)

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Chaman Border: Pakistan reopens southwestern border crossing with Afghanistan for routine traffic

Afghanistan-bound trucks pass through a valley while moving toward the Torkham border crossing in Torkham, Pakistan, June 18, 2016

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FILE - People cross the border coming from Afghanistan to Pakistan, at the border town of Chaman. Pakistan will reopen the Chaman border crossing for routine traffic on Sept. 1, 2016, after days of closure, officials said. Image source: VOA

Pakistan-Afghanistan will reopen a southwestern border crossing, for routine traffic on Thursday after days of closure, stranding thousands of travelers and trade convoys on both sides, officials said.

The Chaman border facility was closed about two weeks ago when Afghans staged an anti-Pakistan demonstration on their side and some angry protesters attacked the border gate and burned a Pakistani flag, according to officials in Islamabad.

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A spokesman for the paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC), which guards the Pakistan border, Wednesday cited “successful negotiations” between senior Pakistani and Afghan border authorities for agreeing to resume the traffic.

An official Pakistani statement said Afghan negotiators “condemned the August 18 incident” and promised to take preventive measures in future.

The two sides agreed to “pay due respect to each other testimonials” and hold a monthly flag meeting to address issues of mutual interest for ensuring a “peaceful environment.

Afghan and Pakistani traders said the border closure caused them millions of dollars in losses and urged both the governments to take steps to ensure uninterrupted movement in both directions.

There are four regular crossings between Afghanistan and Pakistan along their 2,600-kilometer frontier. But the Chaman and the northwestern Torkham border posts serve as the two main crossings for trade and travelers.

Afghanistan-bound trucks pass through a valley while moving toward the Torkham border crossing in Torkham, Pakistan, June 18, 2016.
Afghanistan-bound trucks pass through a valley while moving toward the Torkham border crossing in Torkham, Pakistan, June 18, 2016. Image source: VOA

Afghanistan-bound trucks pass through a valley while moving toward the Torkham border crossing in Torkham, Pakistan, June 18, 2016.

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An estimated 50,000 people, mostly Afghans, travel across the two facilities each day in addition to hundreds of trucks carrying trading goods to landlocked Afghanistan.

Construction of a new gate at Torkham by Pakistan recently prompted deadly clashes between Afghan and Pakistani border forces, suspending traffic there for days.

The border tensions stem from a deterioration in relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan in recent months over mutual allegations of supporting terrorist attacks on each other’s soil.

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Aboriginals of Manipur prefer larger families to ensure their Safety in their Homeland

The Manipuri villages in Assam and Tripura have seen a huge reduction of the population since Independence

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Local Manipuri girls. Image courtesy: Wikimedia commons
  • In the state of Manipur, having larger families is often encouraged
  • Locals fear they will soon be outnumbered by the non-locals and immigrants
  • Unlike other northeastern states, Manipur does not have provisions for the Inner Line Permit system yet

In the midst of large-scale family planning to curb the unchecked population growth, families in Manipur seem to think differently about managing their families.

Mutum Sobita(44) and Ningombam Sanahanbi (54) have fifteen and thirteen children respectively. And there is no case of mistreatment or malnutrition, rather children were provided with optimal education and care. Having these many number of children is considered the norm in these areas.

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According to a IANS report, these two mothers- Mutum Sobita of Keinou in Bishnupur district and Ningombam Sanahanbi of Okram Chuthek in Imphal East district were awarded on Sunday, June 12, at an event held at the Press Club there. There were thirteen recipients in total who were awarded with cash prize and citation for being wonderful mothers to their children. Iramdam Kunba Apunba Lup (IKAL) managed this event.

manipur
The seven sister states in North East India. Image courtesy: Wikimedia commons

It is interesting to know why these indigenous families prefer having larger families in spite of small family size incentives provided by the government.

Experts highlight the fear of being outnumbered by non-locals have been encouraging these families to have a larger number of children.

According to the 2011 Census, population in the state was 2,721,750 of which the non-locals made up over 1,200,000, according to what the government officials told IANS.

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Unlike other northeastern states, Manipur does not have provisions for the Inner Line Permit system yet. It’s a controversial topic and this sentiment was portrayed by Member of Legislative Assembly O. Lukhoi’s speech, who was the chief guest at Sunday’s event on June 12.

In 2015, the Manipur Assembly had approved of three bills following requests to execute the Inner Line Permit system. While the valley people, prevalent Meiteis, see it as the right step to protect them from immigrants, the Kukis and Nagas in the hills are resisting these bills, said a report by IANS.

“People are agitating today and demanding their protection since they have a fear that they will become strangers in their own home state,” Lukhoi said.

-prepared by a staff-writer at NewsGram

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