The India International Trade Fair concluded in New Delhi today after giving a chance to artisans to know their local and global customers and get the best deal from more than 14 lakh people who thronged the two-week event.
The IITF which had a participation of more than 6500 exhibitors from all over the world, including Pakistan, China, Afghanistan and Thailand was a "myopic view of exports", said the country's nodal agency for promoting external trade, India Trade Promotion Organsiation (ITPO) .
"When we start talking about trade fair, it is a myopic view of exports. It is a pure business for the domestic market where all state governments participate, support and give subsidy. The thrust has been handicrafts this time, artisans came in contact with their buyers and importers,” said ITPO Executive Director Neeraj Kumar Gupta. Being the last day of the fair, hundreds of people were turned away by the organisers of the IITF here on the last day after the one lakh cap on sale of daily tickets was reached a little past noon.
"Over 1.2 lakh people visited the fair today. We have a a sense of capping," he said. People were seen pleading with the customer care executives at Pragati Maidan metro station to provide them with tickets of the Fair. The demand for the venue tickets led black marketers to sell them at Rs 150 a piece – almost thrice the actual amount. "If there are no tickets available, I am ready to pay Rs 100 extra to buy a ticket for myself," Digambhar Jain from Chandni Chowk, said. On black marketing of tickets, the executive director said, “We cannot get black tickets through DMRC. Maximum 3-4 tickets are allowed to be sold to each person at metro stations.” This time the theme of the 31st edition of IITF was Indian Handicrafts-The Magic of Gifted Hands.
The fair wherein 23 states and union territories displayed their handicrafts, was an opportunity for market feedback and business development in the country, said Gupta. "New product manufacturing companies come in a big way here, create demand and establish their brands. Each day over a lakh people from different sections came. Handicrafts which has been witnessing a recessionary trend, was promoted here.
There was a cross-fertilisation of ideas and better knowledge to our artisans who come from rural India," he said. On business generated during the fair, he said, "I have no idea. You have to gauge the smile of businessmen." He further substantiated by saying it can be a wild guess of Rs 500 per person who visited the fair. Besides exposure to the handicrafts, the state pavilions were awarded by Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar today during the closing ceremony.
Kerala won the gold medal in the states category, while Madhya Pradesh bagged the silver. Chandigarh was the winner in the Union Territories sector and Nagaland won in the north eastern state category. In the foreign sector, South Africa won the gold medal among 26 participating countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and Thailand. The CRPF and Delhi Police, which faced a tough time to manage the surging crowds, had to put barricades before the ticket counter. "The cap for sale of ticket is 1 lakh and its the same for all days. Its written clearly in the ad for public safety the sale of the ticket will be stopped once the limit is reached," CRPF, DIG Vikram Saigal said explaining the situation. On the allegations that the security personnel were misbehaving with the visitors and media-persons, the DIG refuted the claims. "They are not misbehaving. When the crowd is so big and everyone is a hurry to enter, the police needs to control the crowd.
Media persons with valid identity cards are not being stopped," he said. Khullar while felicitating the winners at the award ceremony said, “I think it has been a great show. Over 6000 exhibitors participated in the huge event, which saw more than a 100,000 visitors every day". South African embassy official Jardine Almar, who collected the award on behalf of the South African pavilion said, “We didn’t get any orders, but the customers of India liked our products. We had an average of 50,000 people visiting our pavilion each day, and 45 of our exhibits were sold out in the first week,” Almar said. The Joint Venture Pavilion of Ministry of Textiles and Commissioner of Handicrafts won the Gold in the Ministries Department, while the Income Tax Department won a silver.
In the public sector undertaking, EPCS, Commodity Boards and Bank category, National Mission on Bamboo Application won the gold medal, while Punjab National Bank won the silver, and Coir Board won the bronze medal. Nivea India Pvt Ltd won the gold in the private sector, and westing house won the silver medal. Mementos were given to the partner states – Jharkhand and West Bengal – and focus states – Bihar and Odisha.