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India International Trade Fair 2016 suffers brunt of Demonetisation

The fair this year has been going digital following the cash crunch in the country after the demonetisation, as the entrance fees has been paid mostly by digital wallets and banks have been providing card machines to the sellers to provide convenience for buyers as well as sellers.

The India International Trade Fair every year had people queuing for hours to reach the fair and was always over crowded, but this year even though public has reached the place, the trade as well as customers have been hard hit.

Reportedly, the fair this year has been going digital following the cash crunch in the country after the demonetisation, as the entrance fees has been paid mostly by digital wallets and banks have been providing card machines to the sellers to provide convenience for buyers as well as sellers.

In a report of India Today, Lakshmi, a small scale trader who has set up a stall at the trade fair said, “The Prime Minister has made his move but it is poor people like us who are bearing the brunt of the issue. We have been standing in line for 4-5 days when we should be working and making money.”

Another trader Nirmala told News 18.com, “About 2-3 people visited our stall, but we haven’t even made a single sale. We thought there’ll be work for us – but there isn’t. No customers, no money.” Another stall owner Daljit Singh supports the government’s demonetisation move, but admits they won’t be able to recover even the stall fee if it continues.

In a bid to support the  buying and selling in the fair, banks have set up around 18 kiosks ATMs, but the trouble is more than the aimed-convenience.

India Today quoted Sarah as saying, “I came here today hoping to withdraw money from ATMs at the fair. I paid Rs 500 to enter with my electronic wallet. But if you ask me if I have any cash, then I must tell you that I don’t even have money to buy a packet of salt.”Ruchi, an exhibitor from Bihar pavilion told News 18.com, “I’ve been standing here since 2 hours when I should be working. There’s not even a single ATM which doesn’t have a long queue. In fact, a lot of them are not even functional.”

Following the digital wave as well as currency crunch because of demonetisation, the State Bank of India has set up a stall and has taken to providing traders with card machines after completing a few formalities. A monthly rental fee of Rs 220, and an installation fee of Rs 200 is what they charge for these machines.

“We are giving a POS machine to all traders here so that we can move towards plastic money. We set up this kiosk in view of the fact that people will not be able to pay in cash,” said Vijay Kumar, an SBI official who is an organiser of the trade fair told India Today.

A stall owner after filling and submitting the SBI form, said, “Customers are running short of cash and think twice before spending money. Everyone is getting their card. I’m taking a machine so that the customers can pay by card.”

However, on the other hand, Harvinder Singh, a trader selling his wares in the fair told News 18.com “ATMs are not functional; the procedural steps to obtain a card machine are taking longer than the usual.”

 

“We are at a loss here. But if we are keeping the nation’s interest in mind I guess it’s okay. I hope I’ll make up with my profit next year,” said Mamata Shanti to India Today.

AK Khan, a shopkeeper manning one of the stalls in Delhi pavilion, the flaws in management and planning add to the brunt in the fair this year.

Prime Minister Modi’s masterstroke has been claimed as “surgical strike” on common man by the opposition parties, as the country faced huge chaos and currency crunch along with shocking deaths following the withdrawal of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.

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