The India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), which missed the annual event last year due to Covid, is hosting the 40th India International Trade Fair on an area of 70,000 square meters , approximately thrice the size of the exhibition conducted in 2019 (23,000 square meters), according to ITPO officials. According to an ITPO official, the additional halls, which are part of the international exhibition-cum-convention centre project at Pragati Maidan, were inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month and will supply more than 70 per cent of space for this year's annual trade fair event.

The show is featuring around 3,000 exhibitors, state governments, and federal ministries, according to LC Goyal, the managing director of ITPO. However, foreign engagement will be modest this year, with only nine countries expected to attend.

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Tunisia are among the international participants, compared to the 20 who participated in previous years.

Responsible trading in times of the pandemic

Goyal stated that they were aware of the Covid-19 situation and were taking the necessary actions. He stated that ticket sales are restricted in order to keep the maximum number of guests inside the facility at any given time between 35,000 and 40,000. Online and at 65 metro stations, tickets will be available for purchase. At Pragati Maidan, there are no counters. The ticket prices have been raised by 20 per cent in the form of a crowd-control strategy, rather than focusing on making more revenue. Children's tickets are maintained at the same price, while senior citizens are being admitted for free. On weekdays in 2019, tickets for general visitors cost INR 60 for adults and INR 40 for the younger population. These charges have been raised to INR 120 for adults and INR 60 for minors on weekends and holidays this time.

The new complex halls' spaciousness will also help to maintain social distance. According to Goyal, the minimum stall size has been increased from 9 to 12 square metres, and the passage pathway width has been extended from 4 to 5 metres. "In addition, there are 320 civil defence volunteers on hand to ensure that Covid proper behaviour is observed at the location," he added. The 14-day event is taking place from November 14 to November 27, with the first five days dedicated for business-to-business sales and the last entrance at 5:30 p.m. The entry period for regular visitors is between 9 a.m. and 5.30 p.m.

The main underground passage connecting Mathura Road and Ring Road, which is a significant part of the Pragati Maidan revitalization project, is still under construction and will not be available for use in this year's annual trade exhibition. According to Goyal, the underground parking and passageway would be completed well ahead of the IITF next year.

Showcasing India’s Atmanirbharta 

According to the MSME Ministry, 316 MSMEs from throughout India are taking part in the 40th edition of the India International Trade Fair, which was organised by the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO). MSME Minister Narayan Rane inaugurated the MSME Exhibit on Monday. The annual trade fair this year at Pragati Maidan is hosting MSMEs from around 20 sectors, including ayush, ceramics, chemical, cosmetics, embroidery, food, footwear, handicrafts, handloom, home decor, honey, jute, leather, metallurgy, gems & jewellery, textiles, toys, wood, and others.

“It is a great opportunity for budding entrepreneurs to learn about various schemes of the Ministry of MSME…The MSME Ministry has emerged as the torchbearer of women empowerment on a global platform. The MSME pavilion at the 40th IITF is providing a platform to the highest number of women entrepreneurs, SC, ST and minority entrepreneurs across the country,” tweeted Minister Rane.

The MSME pavilion also hosts the greatest ever participation of women-owned businesses (71%) as well as SC and ST entrepreneurs from throughout the country, the MSME Ministry stated in a statement. On Monday, the MSME Minister also opened the Khadi Pavilion. According to the MSME Ministry's 2020-21 annual report, just 20.37 per cent of India's 6.33 crore MSMEs are held by women. The MSME Ministry already has an International Cooperation Scheme in place to give financial help for flights, space rent, freight charges, advertisement and publicity charges, and admission or registration fees to participating MSMEs in various exhibitions and events globally. In FY22, 704 similar events are planned around the world for Indian MSMEs to explore potential markets for exports, joint ventures, and technology awareness, among other things.

The trade fair will provide an opportunity for MSME entrepreneurs, particularly women, SC/ST entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs from aspirational districts, to showcase their skills/products and create new opportunities for growth and self-reliance. The minister further said that the government's industrial policy and several MSME Ministry programmes are assisting the MSME sector in realising its full potential in order to attain the $ 5 trillion economy vision.

The fair was launched by Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday, who stated that the IITF has returned in its 40th edition, powered by 'Aatmanirbharta' and 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav,' after a one-year hiatus. On November 27, the popular trade show will come to a close for this year. 

This blog has been authored by Radhika Sharma and Devika Chawla.

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