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Bengal Durga Puja economy may expand by 20-30%

Source: PTI
October 02, 2022 23:09 IST
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After the Covid-19 pandemic that derailed the economy since 2019, the Durga Puja festival in West Bengal is back with an estimated 20-30 per cent jump in festive spending.

Tulsi Tanti

Photograph: Amit Dave/Reuters

Retail sector is the key contributor to the state's Durga Puja economy which was Rs 32,377 crore in 2019, according to a British Council study conducted for the state government.

Retail accounts for 85 per cent of the total puja economy and the rest is shared among pandal making, decoration, illumination, entertainment, advertisement, food & beverage and others.

 

Confederation of West Bengal Traders Association president Sushil Poddar said that with the trends seen in several consumption sectors, the growth can safely be projected at 20-30 per cent.

"This year, inflation itself is very high when compared to 2019. Value growth will be better than volume growth," he said.

Retailers Association of India CEO Kumar Rajagopalan said, "A growth of 20 per cent to 25 per cent (in the retail sales) over the pre-pandemic levels of 2019 will be the right kind of growth despite inflation.”

Amid the healthy growth expectation in the "puja economy" in 2022 over 2019, its share of the state GDP may remain 2.4-2.5 per cent.

According to the budget estimates for 2022-23, the GDP of West Bengal is estimated at Rs 17,13,154 crore.

The share of the Durga Puja economy in the state GDP was 2.5 per cent in 2019, the British Council report said.

The festive season GST collection data will come later, State GST Commissioner Khalid Anwar told PTI.

"We are seeing steady high growth in state GST collection and expect the festive months will remain robust.

"The cumulative growth in the current fiscal has been over 20 per cent," Anwar said.

The malls in the city are enjoying good business.

"Last week we have seen 30 per cent more footfall and sales than what they were in the same period in 2019, over 50 per cent more than 2021 and over 65 per cent more than 2020.

"Brands in the apparel category raked in the moolah,” said K Vijayan, GM, Acropolis Mall and Homeland Mall.

Manmohan Bagree, head of South City Mall, said, "Overall business in the retail industry has seen a good growth pan-India. the brands had set a target of 10-15 per cent growth in business in comparison to 2019."

The e-commerce giants have also strengthened their supply hubs given the growing demand from this region.

Flipkart has opened India's largest modern fulfilment centre at Haringhata in the recent past.

Amit Mitra, the regional director of Rapport Advertising, a part of multinational IPG Group, told PTI that this year's puja inventory is "housefull".

In 2022, both local brands and big corporations wanted their outdoor campaigns to be more aggressive than those in 2019, he said adding:

"The growth is at least 20-25 per cent."

Advertisements accounted for Rs 504 crore in 2019, as per the British Council report.

After retail, the largest category of the puja economy is food & beverages and it was worth Rs 2,854 crore two years ago, as per the report.

Hotel and Restaurant Association of East secretary Sudesh Poddar said that there had been a sharp increase in footfall and people have started flowing in since Mahalaya and business will be estimated at 25-30 per cent higher over that in 2019.

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