Low turnout of customers-slowdown continues
AMN / NEW DELHI
The slowdown in commercial markets of the Country continues even today, the day of Dhanteras which is considered as most auspicious day to buy gold or silver jewellery, utensils and kitchenware & appliances on this day. There is gloomy atmosphere in sales outlets of these commodities today having a very low turnout of people all over the Country. Market observers say that perhaps it is most disappointed Dhanteras for the traders in past more than 10 years. It is feared that if situation goes like this in remaining two days of Diwali, this slowdown may reach to 40% in comparison to last year.
Generally on Dhanteras the rates of Gold & Silver keeps increasing but this time since last 4-5 days, the rates remains almost same. Today the rates for gold was quoted as Rs.32,800 per 10 grams and of Silver it was Rs.39,500 per Kg. It is estimated that today the sale of Gold & Silver went down to 30-35% in comparison to last year. This itself speaks the continued slowdown of the market.
CAIT National President Mr. B.C.Bhartia & Secretary General Mr. Praveen Khandelwal while citing the reasons for slowdown opined that it is the crunch of cash liquidity which has disturbed the sales atmosphere in the markets. Earlier demonetisation made the business quite tough whereas cashless transactions could not took speed because of levy of transaction charges.Agriculturalist suffered losses due to price drop on agri-commodities, higher establishment expenses and subsequent increase in working capital of traders & MSMEs, the atmosphere of uncertainity has prompted the salaried class to keep funds reserve are some of the facts which have blocked the cash liquidity from the markets.
Supplementing the arguments, both Mr. Bhartia & Mr. Khandelwal said that E Commerce has badly hit the brick & mortar markets. Banks are offering cash back on card payments for online shopping, Exclusive availability of certain products on E Commerce portals, Support to online trade by Brands through Advertisements, Unethical & unchecked continuous discounted sales by E Commerce portals are some of the major reasons of diversion of offline sales to online resulting into low turnout of customers in the markets.
Traders across the Country fear that the Wedding season which will begin from November may not meet the same fate and looking at the Government to ask RBI to direct the Banks to encourage lending on easy terms with lower rate of interest. After demonetisation, the Banks have surplus funds and are placed better to lend money which may further infuse cash liquidity life to the markets.