Slowdown forces corporates to slash Diwali budget: ASSOCHAM

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On-going economic meltdown has amounted to fizzle out 2008 Diwali excitements to a large extent as majority of business houses on an average have slashed their corporate gift allocation budget by at least 25 per cent, says a recent finding of country’s leading industry group.

While business houses distributed gifts amounting Rs 20 billion during 2007 festive season of Diwali, this year it is going to come down to Rs 15 billion, says ASSOCHAM assesment.

The items being chosen for gift articles for 2008 Diwali by businessmen are mostly those imported from China because of their cost competitiveness and attractive packaging, said DS Rawat, secretary general, ASSOCHAM, while releasing its assessment for forthcoming Diwali on gift distribution.

In the past, the trend was to oblige businessmen’s contact by giving them silver and gold coins, wrist watches, briefcase, brass and silver ware, candle stands, suit lengths, handy electronics items like ipods, DVD player etc. This year, these items are not for much of sale and are being avoided by business houses because of cost factor, said Rawat.

On the contrary, the ASSOCHAM market research reveal that plastic items and toys and other attractive products are being picked up by the concerned department in the corporate world for the gift purposes. Even sale of dry fruits has gone up by nearly 40 per cent in the last couple of days as these are considered handy and most acceptable commodities.

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