New Delhi, November 18: As India is cashless post currency ban, the sales and footfall at India International Trade Fair has receded drastically to one fourth of what it was last year.
A steep fall in footfall is registered as country is going through a severe cash crunch. A large number of stalls do not have swipe machines while cash payments are restricted due to Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes ban.
The currency crunch dilemma has bitten both the buyers and sellers equally. As, interested buyers cannot make purchase in the absence of adequate cash and swipe machines, while the sellers can’t sell either.
Some traders revealed that the sales were six times lower to last year’s average. A canteen owner also said, as the footfall is low, so are the sales. He said he made only Rs 7000 in a day while it used to be Rs 35000 per day last year.
ITPO could base a total of 15 ATMs in the fair and requested banks to provide swiping machines to the traders. Long queues at ATMs are also hampering people from drawing cash for purchases. Not to forget limited cash is only that is availed through ATM per day and thus traders at Trade Fair are bound to be affected by the lower buying capacity of the visitors.
Traders at Trade Fair are bound to be affected by the lower buying capacity of the visitors.
Foreign traders are hit even worse by the ban as currency they owned is invalid and due to long queues outside banks they fear to go there during the fair. One of the Afghan traders said he had to sell his dollars at very low price to make purchases for the fair.
A foreign trader: I sold my dollars at low price to make purchases.
The host of the event, ITPO, also seems to be less prepared for the event this year.
Old currency notes which are invalid since demonetisation announced by PM Modi are being used at the ticket counter while the sellers in Pragati Maidan are rejecting them.
Surprisingly there is no swipe machine at the ticket counter. The ticket counters are yet to be recalibrated despite centre’s insistence to use electronic payment systems.
Those who insist on make a card payment to buy ticket would be taken to metro station and amount of ticket will be handed over to buy the ticket from ticket counter.
With low footfall, you can still make a visit to Pragati Maidan this year as a few traders are still accepting the old currency. Also, 2016 happens to be last year for Trade Fair as the venue is going to shut for renovation from this year.