Global meltdown hits Diwali celebration in Gujarat

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Ahmedabad, Oct 27 (UNI) Global meltdown and its cascading effect on Indian economy in general and stock markets in particular has hit the Diwali celebrations in Gujarat.

Usually, a festival of hype and hoopla, it has been turned gloomy because of unprecendented crash of stock markets.

People usually go on buying spree during the diwali festival but this year in Ahmedabad and other parts of the state, major malls and other big businesses have registered very low sales compared to diwali days of last year.

For last decade or so, demand for readymade sweets and Namkeen was on rise due to the fact that the age-old practice of making sweets and Namkeen at home has been vanishing fast because of the increase in the number of nuclear families and the rise of working women. Now people order the sweets and Namkeen, according to their requirement. Another factor leading to the increase in the sales of sweets is the increasing trend of gifting sweet boxes as diwali greetings.

Muarli Agraval, president, Ahmedabad Sweets and Namkeen Traders Association, says that two factors have hit the business most are economic recession and a mini-vacation in the government and private establishments. Mr Agraval says that this time demand is 30 per cent less than that of last year. Increase in raw material cost has led to the rise in the prices of sweet and because of that people are buying less amount of sweets and Namkeen than last year.

''This time, the market has gone down. By 30 per cent, the orders that are being placed have gone down. The market is for sure down,'' said Mr Agraval.

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