The decision to reserve the first five days at the ongoing IITF at Pragati Maidan here exclusively for business visitors has badly affected sales at the pavilions of the North-East States.
“We have registered very poor sales so far. This is because the first five days were for business visitors. We are hopeful that sales will pick up from Thursday when the fair is thrown open to the public,” said Chhuanawma of the Mizoram pavilion on Wednesday.
At the Manipur pavilion there have been business enquiries, but again sales have not been good. “The fair gives us a chance to enter into collaborations with big States. But this year the public wasn’t allowed from November 14 to 18 and this has badly hampered sales. Those who take such decisions must realise that Manipur is a small State and it cannot withstand losses,” said Shantakumar Singh, the director at Manipur pavilion.
He expects the sale of saris, salwar-kameez, cane sofa and artificial flowers to pick up from Thursday.
At the Meghalaya pavilion, B. Kharsamai, the pavilion director, is facing complains from participants about low-turnout of visitors resulting in less sales.
The Tripura pavilion has put up attractive bamboo products, handloom and handicraft items. Superintendent of the Tripura pavilion Biva Deb Barma said: “This time the response hasn’t been encouraging. We expect sales to go up from Thursday.”
Nagaland is exhibiting dry flowers which were a rage the last time round. “We are hoping to do good business with our dry flowers once the fair is open to regular visitors,” said Lee at the Nagaland pavilion.
According to a representative of Assam pavilion, non-business people had to cough up Rs.400 per ticket during the first five days.