New Delhi: The 36th India International Trade Fair, inaugurated here on Monday, has become an easy way out for people to use up their demonetised currency of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 as domestic and even foreign traders are easily and openly accepting payment in the phased-out notes.

“We are accepting all notes. Rs 500, Rs 1,000, Rs 2,000 — all notes. People can buy anything for the full amount of the old currency. However, we cannot give change,” a woman trader at Turkey’s pavilion told IANS.

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

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Another trader at the Myanmar pavilion, selling precious stones and gems and jewellery, said: “You can pay us anyhow, we are accepting online payments and cash as well. Cash… you can pay in old currency also.”

Asked how will they get it exchanged as the notes have been demonetised, the trader nonchalantly said that he has access to Indian accounts into which he can deposit the cash.

The government had announced demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes on November 8 night.

The public at large is easily using up their stock of demonetised notes at the trade fair. A customer told IANS: “I brought new currency with me and old currency also. And I have purchased stuff using both. Many Indian and foreign counters are accepting old notes.”

An Indian dealer trading in tea leaves said that they are open to accepting old Rs 500 notes and would even give the remaining change if the purchase is of lesser amount.

Asked if the government is allowing to trade in old notes at the trade fair, the sales girl told IANS: “I do not know. But we have instructions from our company to accept demonetised notes too.”

Demand for point of sale (POS) machines have also gone up as the traders at the fair are accepting card payments. At the State Bank of India counter, an employee said that on the first day of the trade fair itself, orders for about 60 machines have been placed.

A trader who was filling the form for a POS machine told IANS: “The cosmetic pavilion is openly accepting old currency notes. They will get it exchanged later from the market. I am not accepting, so I have to take card payments.”

This year’s fair is seeing 7,000 participants including representation from 24 nations, Indian states and union territories, public and private enterprises with around 800 rural artisans and craftspersons.

First Published | 14 November 2016 8:56 PM
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