Guwahati, Sunday, October 14, 2012
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Puja shopping spree picking up
STAFF REPORTER
 GUWAHATI, Oct 13 – Though the weather is behaving in an erratic way with rain and shine competing with each other, the festive spirit of the capital city has not been dampened in any way. With the much-awaited Durga Puja festival not many days away, the market places in the city are being thronged by citizens in all age group. Particularly, the evenings are witnessing heavy rush of people and the ambience is getting merrier.

However compared to the last few years, the prices of all items including textile, shoes and other accessories have shot up this festival season. In the business hub of the capital city, Fancy Bazar, which is the most favoured destination of the middle and low income groups during all the festive occasions, people are buying clothes and other items at higher prices compared to last year.

On Thursday, Fancy Bazar as usual witnessed the gathering of people from far and near. It needs to be mentioned here that for people from Hajo, Sualkuchi and other nearby areas, this is the market to shop for all items right to a hanky. For the low income group, the fixed price shops offering readymade wear at cheap prices and the roadside vendors have been providing respite during the days of inflation.

According to a trader at Fancy Bazar, the present economic situation in the country has pushed the prices of all items. Kon Talukdar, salesperson at Handloom Saree Mart, Fancy Bazaar said that business has doubled but it is going to be brisk in the coming days only.

“Our business is good now, but we expect it to go up in the coming days,” said Talukdar adding that during the Durga Puja, the demand for traditional wear is very high.

The demand for Tant and Tangail Saree and Fancy Saree in the festive season has improved the business of the traders dealing in traditional wear.

“The minimum price of Tant and Tangail Saree in our collection starts from Rs 400 plus to as high as Rs 3000 and Rs 4000,” informed Talukdar mentioning that the minimum price of the Tant Saree collection that cost Rs 380 last year has shot up to Rs 430 and above.

Depending on the quality and design of the Fancy Saree, the prices vary between Rs 1000 to Rs 15,000.

The prices of the accessories that go along with the apparels have also gone up. Rajib of Novelty shoe store in Fancy Bazar pointing out to a pair of shoes for kids said that last year it cost around Rs 350 and this year the same quality shoe with the same design costs Rs 450. He said that the inflationary situation in the country was responsible for the rise in cost.

On the other hand, at Paltan Bazar, the retail traders are waiting for their business to pick up. The salesperson at the Surana Cloth Store here said that their customers belong to the low-income group and middle-income group.

With the preference for readymade wear growing amongst the consumers, those in the tailoring business are not happy with the way things are going. Sanjay Deb at Paltan Bazar said that till the last couple of years, they were flooded with orders, but this is not the case now. “People now opt for readymade wear. The orders are not to our expectation,” said Deb.

At Ganeshguri, the jovial atmosphere is announcing the approach of the festive season. Music and smiling faces jostling in the crowd has transformed the look of the place. The traders are hoping for business to pick up in the next few days.

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