Festivals lighted up consumption. But will it last?
Festivals, especially Deepawali, the festival that Indians observe to celebrate the return of Ram from his 14 years of exile reminded us of the triumph of good over evil. Indians across the regions celebrate the day differently, however, the ethos across the country remains the same. This year the festival fared better in comparison to the last two years as people all across communities thronged to markets buying necessary goods, decorative pieces, sweets, gifts etc. The retail sales as claimed by different association has crossed Rs. 1.25 crore which is a record trade figure in the last 10 years on the occasion of Diwali. In Delhi alone, this business was about Rs. 25 thousand crores! This surely ended the lull period that existed in the previous years. In many ways, this Diwali was completely different from the previous years and the countrymen also celebrated the festival of Diwali with full gusto.
According to the traders’ association CAIT, this time Chinese goods were not sold at all in the markets across the country and the special emphasis of the customers was on the purchase of Indian goods. They said that by strengthening the call of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for Atmnirbhar Bharat, traders across the country celebrated Indian Diwali – Local Diwali enthusiastically across the country. Products including earthen lamps, colorful earthen diyas, different kinds of vandanwars, pendants, earthen sticks, toys made of khand, earthen sandals, candles and papermachie lamps, rangoli etc which gave substantial business to small potters, craftsmen and handicraftsmen.
On the other hand, products such as sweets, dry fruits, packed namkeen, food and packaged items, furnishing fabric, tapestries, footwear, gift items, FMCG goods, electrical and electronic items, watches, consumer products, readymade garments, textiles, series of electric bulbs, LED bulbs, home décor items etc were also in huge demand and yielded good business. Gold jewellery and silverware were purchased for more than Rs. 9000 crores, as per CAIT. While this is certainly a case of revival in terms of consumption-led economic activities in India, will this euphoria last? Will the consumption level be maintained or will it shrink? The situation that we are living in presently is cautious living and we are yet not free from the clutches of the Covid fear. Hence, the next six months are going to be very crucial. As a nation, we must not off guard our weapons against the virus while still continuing our consumption, may be albeit under control.
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