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Dull diwali for Delhi traders

delhi Updated: Oct 15, 2009 10:41 IST

The downturn may have receded but this has failed to bring smiles on the faces of traders in the national capital who are ruing the lack of enthusiasm among Diwali revellers.

Traders in major markets here say their business is down by nearly 50 per cent from what it was last year and blamed it on people rationing their shopping budgets due to the meltdown and the resultant fall in their income.

"People actually don't want to spend much this year and this has affected our business badly," says Sanjeev Mehra, president of Khan Market Traders Association.

Gift items are among the worst hit, he says.

Diwali, the festival of prosperity, is an occasion when people exchange gifts -- mostly household goods, jewellery, dry fruits and sweets.

"Novelty shops, which were doing estimated business of Rs four lakh every year, are now assessing their business could be around Rs two lakh this year," Mehra says.

"People are coming out, but, unlike earlier Diwalis, they are not buying anything and everything. This time, they are being very selective while buying," he says.

Echoing similar views, R G Gambhir, general secretary of Green Park Market Association says, "there has certainly been a drop in business this season. It is not because people are not coming out to shop, but they are spending less this time."