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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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Traders Body Wants Government to Seek a Ban on Amazon, Flipkart’s Festival Sales

“There will also be 10 per cent instant discount for Axis Bank debit and credit card holders and ICICI Bank credit card users,” it added

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Amazon, New york
A delivery person pushes a cart full of Amazon boxes in New York City, U.S., Feb. 14, 2019. VOA

Just a couple of days after Flipkart announced the dates of its “The Big Billion Days” sale, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has written to the government seeking a “blanket ban” on festive season sales conducted by the e-commerce giant as well as its rival Amazon and other such platforms.

While Flipkart announced that its annual six-day sale ahead of Diwali and Dussehra would take place starting September 29, Amazon is yet to announce the dates for its annual bumper sale.

During these periods, the e-commerce platforms offer heavy discounts to lure customers as Indians tend to make major purchases during the festive season.

“By offering deep discounts ranging from 10 per cent to 80 per cent on their e-commerce portals, these companies are clearly influencing the prices and create an uneven level playing field which is in direct contravention of the policy,” the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said in a letter to Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.

CAIT said that the practice of deep discounts offered by various e-commerce platforms during the festive season goes against the foreign direct investment rules.

The traders body argued that that as these e-commerce platforms are “openly flouting FDI norms, a blanket ban on such festival sales should be ordered and an investigation should be conducted as to how these companies are flouting FDI norms and accordingly action should be taken against them.”

amazon, china, flipkart
FILE – A worker removes an advertisement billboard of Indian online marketplace Flipkart, installed along the roadside in Mumbai, India, Oct. 16, 2015. Amazon.com Inc. is concentrating on India and its competition, Flipkart. VOA

“…much contrary to the FDI policy, the e-commerce portals are deeply engaged in B2C business and the quantum of B2B business is almost negligible,” CAIT, which represents 500,000 merchants and traders in India, said in its letter on Friday.

“As per FDI policy, e-commerce entities providing marketplace will not directly or indirectly influence the sale price of goods and services and shall maintain level playing field.”

Flipkart, in its announcement of annual sales dates said that “affordability is one of the key pillars for the Big Billion Days, with a focus on empowering consumers to fulfil all their shopping aspirations without compromising on their budgets.”

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“This year, over 50 million Indians will have access to some form of credit, through Flipkart’s various loan options, including Cardless Credit, Flipkart PayLater and No-Cost EMIs on leading bank debit and credit cards,” Flipkart said.

“There will also be 10 per cent instant discount for Axis Bank debit and credit card holders and ICICI Bank credit card users,” it added. (IANS)