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Unfair? Currency Ban Hits Foreign Participants At Trade Fair  

Following the currency ban, the participants from various countries are facing a cash crunch. 

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India
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Foreign participants at the 36th India International Trade Fair (IITF) in Delhi are facing a severe cash crunch with most complaining of having “zero” or “very limited” Indian currency following the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.

“I have zero Indian money with me. No money to even buy tea. We have come as a part of a trading group, so thankfully our hotel and food is covered,” Grace Wu, a trader in the Chinese pavilion, told IANS.

Another trader, Fengabao Liu, selling hardware at the Chinese pavilion, said: “I have no rupees with me. Could not get it exchanged at the airport because of the crowd.”

However, as he had come in a large group, his manager helped him with some cash, Liu said.

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Cash Crunch

Following the currency ban, the participants from various countries are facing a cash crunch. 
Indians stand in queues in front of ATM machines. (Photo: AP)

The IITF is organised by the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and will continue till 27 November at Pragati Maidan.

“I could exchange only $50 at the airport. I’m facing a lot of trouble due to this cash crunch. There are such long queues everywhere - at the airport and the ATMs,” Summer Luo, sales manager at a Chinese battery manufacturer’s counter, said. “How do I get my money exchanged? I have very little money.”

An Afghan woman trader lamented, “We are facing so many problems as we have no Indian money. No money to spend on ourselves.”

Another Afghan, a dry fruit trader, smiled and told IANS, “I managed somehow. I borrowed money from some friends here. I managed to get just enough cash.”

Payment Fail

Following the currency ban, the participants from various countries are facing a cash crunch. 
Traders at the IITF are relying on card payments. (Photo courtesy: indiatradefair.com)

The cash-strapped traders said they do not expect good business during the trade fair because of the Indian government's demonetisation move.

However, the traders are relying on demand for point of sale (POS) machines and are accepting card payments.

Shengyuan Yu, from China’s Tianjin Qaiek Food Co, said his sales will not be affected as the price range of the products that he was offering were only between Rs 200 and Rs 600.

“My products are not that expensive. Rs 200 is not much, people can easily manage that much cash. For Indian traders, the payments can be made later online,” Shengyuan told IANS.

“For my personal use, I managed to get $500 exchanged in Indian rupees,” he said.

This year's fair has 7,000 participants, including representation from 24 nations, Indian states and Union territories, public and private enterprises, and around 800 rural artisans and craftspersons.

(This article was published in a special arrangement with IANS)

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