The wedding business in the tricity area has taken a beating after the government pulled Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 banknotes out of circulation, and the overall trade has registered nearly 40% slump.
Moreover, advance bookings for January and February have come to a virtual standstill.
But for bigger players in catering and decoration business, the move came as a blessing in disguise as a number of pending payments were cleared by their clients immediately though in old currency. An average wedding costs between Rs 5 lakh to Rs 50 lakhs while the budget for fat weddings is even higher.
“Even customers who had come for queries for January-February have changed their mind,” said GS Walia, president, Tent House Owners Association.
A BOON TOO
“However, in some cases, customers cleared all the pending payments to tent house owners,” GS Walia added.
Since the wedding market is an unorganised sector, most of the dealings are done in cash.
Owners of marriage palaces are flooded with queries whether they would accept currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000.
Many catering and tent houses are accepting such requests but only of select clients and promise to return the money in valid currency notes after a cut of 25% and that too after some months.
OWNERS IN A FIX
Marriage palace owners have stopped taking currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 and are ready to accept delayed payments.
As against 15 to 20 wedding functions, an average marriage palace owner is getting only two to three bookings in the months to come. “We have to pay luxury tax between 1 and 3 every month, so we have requested our clients to pay only in valid currency or through cheque. The queries have dipped as customers have now started weighing option of getting marriages done in hotels than banquet halls where it would cost about Rs 2-5 lakh as against the banquet halls where the cost ranges from Rs 5-10 lakh,” said Manish Maggo of Chasme Shahi in Balongi in SAS Nagar.
“High-end weddings are hit the most. The marriage palace owners are deferring payments so that the customers could arrange cash,” said Raman Khanna of Palki Resort, Balongi.