NEW DELHI: Amid a resurgence in coronavirus cases and the subsequent restrictions imposed in the country, Holi this year is expected to be a muted affair not just for those who wish to celebrate the festival but also for small traders. In Delhi , for instance, traders had stocked themselves with goods in the hope of better sales unlike the pandemic year when consumers had completely refrained from visiting markets resulting in gradual loss in business. But, this year, too, there is a tremendous decline and markets have been relatively empty in the week leading up to the festival of colours.
“After theCovid-19 guidelines issued on Holi in all the states including Delhi, traders are very worried as they have got a huge stock which is currently difficult to sell,” said CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal. Gulal makers are likely to face losses worth Rs 25,000 crore, with Delhi expected to see a dent of Rs 1,500 crore in business, note CAIT. That apart, there are roughly around 40,000 events that are typically organised across India, but this year most people will likely celebrate the festival of colours at home. In Delhi alone, about 3,000 Holi events are held every year.
But this year, the government has banned public celebrations and similar guidelines have been issued in almost all the states of the country which will have a direct impact on business. “These events and functions are also a source of income for caterers, confectioners, tent houses, among others. It is estimated that each year about Rs 200 crore is spent on such events,” CAIT added. Small traders may spray a dismal shade of red also due to shortage of Chinamade water guns and balloons. Industry estimates show India imports 90 per cent of such products from the neighbouring nation.