Delhi's int'l trade fair opens; lesser availability of space this year
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New Delhi, Nov 14 (PTI) The annual India International Trade Fair (IITF) began Wednesday albeit on a smaller scale, with less than one-fourth space compared to previous editions as Pragati Maidan undergoes makeover.
Visitors to the 14-day long fair may face inconvenience this year due to unavailability of adequate shuttles, while exhibitors face the issue of lesser availability of space, with construction on in full swing to build a state-of-the-art Integrated Exhibition-cum-Convention Center by September-end 2019.
"Balancing the ongoing redevelopment and holding the fair is not an easy task. The fact that for the last 12 days there was a complete ban on construction which we followed and the incoming trucks to Delhi were held up at the border did complicate things further. It was not an easy decision to continue with this fair in the given circumstances," ITPO ED Deepak Kumar said addressing the fair's inauguration event here.
"We know that there are many shortcomings and inconvenience but we assure you all that next year you will have a world class venue," Kumar added.
The India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) is the nodal agency under the administrative control of the Commerce Ministry entrusted with the redevelopment of Pragati Maidan.
ITPO CMD L C Goyal said the IECC will become a reality by the end of September next year.
"Though we have challenges, you know everyday something or the other keeps happening. The work is stopped for 10 days or 12 days or SDMC gives us a notice without any prior inspection. Despite all this, we are absolutely confident and would deliver this project by September-end next year," he said.
However, nearly all states and union territories have continued their presence in the fair this year despite space constraints.
The partner country is Afghanistan and the focus country is Nepal. The focus state this time is Jharkhand. Theme of the fair is 'Rural Enterprises in India'. Around 800 participants from states/government departments, domestic and international companies are taking part with considerable participation of rural artisans, craftsmen and SME entrepreneurs.
This year, entry of the visitors will be facilitated through only three gates — Gate No. 1 (on Bhairon Road), Gate No. 8 (on Mathura Road) and Gate No. 10 (Pragati Maidan Metro Station). Entry to the fairground will be allowed from 9.30 am to 5.00 pm. It will end at 7.30 pm.
ITPO has earmarked initial four days (November 14-17) for the business visitors.
Entry rates for business days per person will be Rs 500 and season ticket Rs 1800. For all the visitors during public days (November 18-27), ticket charges on Saturday/Sunday/Public Holiday per adult will be Rs 120 and Rs 60 for children.
Foreign participation includes businesses from Afghanistan, China, Hong Kong, Kyrgyzstan, Iran, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, Tunisia, Vietnam and UAE. PTI RSN MKJ
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