New Delhi: The usual colourful fervour associated with Holi is missing from the markets this year as rising inflation have put a lid on people’s spending, according to traders.
“This year business is not so good compared to last year. Price rise of essential commodities have stopped people from spending freely in this Holi,” Shyam Mittal, owner of Shyam Rakhi Bhandar at the city’s largest whole-sale market Sadar Bazaar, told PTI.
He said this year his business is down by about 5-7% as compared to last year.
Inflation stands at an 11-month high of 5.92% as essential items like fruits and vegetables, pulses and manufactured items turned expensive.
While there are no authentic data available on the size of the market for Holi items in the country, industry chamber Assocham puts a guesstimate of about Rs5,000 crore.
“Last year we did about Rs5-7 lakh business in the Holi with about 5% profit margin. But this time, it is completely different and is down by 5-7%,” Mittal said.
Echoing similar sentiments, another trader Jamal Ahmed said the condition of all the markets in the Capital is same because of price rise.
“I made a profit of Rs20,000 on a sale of about Rs3.5 lakh last year. But I will suffer losses up to Rs75,000 this time as sales are not expected to go beyond Rs2.5 lakh,” he added.
The traders said even supplies of items like balloon, pichkari and gulal are low considering the lesser demand compared to last year.
“This year supplies of balloons, which usually come from China and Mumbai, are less. Stock from Mumbai is less as there is a fear of losing out against the cheap Chinese balloons,“ Ahmed said.
Current prices of balloons from Mumbai is at about Rs10 for a pack of 100 pieces and Rs30 for a pack of 225 pieces, compared to which the Chinese items are 10-15% cheaper.
Also the Chinese decorative pichkaris are giving the Indian counterparts a run for their money in the market with prices ranging between Re 1 and Rs700.
Even in the colours segment, prices range between Rs40 and Rs60 per kg for ordinary ones, while the herbal colours are priced between Rs150 and Rs200 per kg. Spray colours from China is proving to be a hit, with cost of Rs20 for 250 ml and Rs50 for a litre.
Going by the sentiments of the traders, it seems the pitch this year is definitely lower in saying Holi Hai!