City-centre bustles with Eid shoppers

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In the run up to the Eid-ul-Fitr, markets across city-centre on Sunday wore a festive look as people in large numbers were seen making purchases. 
The huge rush also caused traffic jams at several places especially in the afternoon and evening hours, causing inconvenience to commuters. 
The weekly ‘Sunday market’ from TRC Junction to Hari Singh High Street attracted people to purchase clothes, accessories, kids wear, home decoration and utensils displayed by vendors.
Braving the heat, hawkers also made brisk sale of electronic accessories and goods.
Farhan Kitab, chief spokesperson, Kashmir Economic Alliance said the city centre markets remained open on Sunday in view of the rush of Eid shoppers. 
“Sales have started picking up as people are making Eid purchases. Women shoppers are more in number and children’s products are also in demand," Kitab said. 
“Most people are making limited purchases and not spending lavishly,” Kitab added.
Purchase of home furnishing and home decoration products ahead of forthcoming Eid is also a common sight. “Products such as dry fruit bowls, paintings, wall art, flower vases are among the popular goods,” said a vendor Farooq Ahmad. 
Ahead of Eid, furnishing shops are also witnessing considerable footfalls. “Since there is a drop in sales during Ramadhan, a boom in purchase of home furnishing is witnessed just ahead of Eid every year,” said owner of a furnishing showroom.
Meanwhile, the most popular selling products ahead of Eid are mobile phones, especially touch screen smart phones. Despite an increase in their taxes, sales of electronic devices has also picked up. “Packaged dry fruits available at super markets are finding many takers. With soaring temperatures, many are opting to stock up their refrigerators with juices and ice-creams,” said a trader. Many shopkeepers are offering freebies such as gifts to attract maximum customers to their shops, he said.   
Meanwhile, many Eid shoppers also complained of overpricing, especially of food items. “Factors such as implementation of Goods and Services Tax ( GST) leading to less import of goods to the Valley has resulted in making goods costlier, said Muhammad Yaseen Khan, president, Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation.   
“The festive spirit is visible in the markets but adverse effect of demonetization and GST continues to affect sales”, said Khan.  
Bashir Ahmad Rather, president of another faction of KTMF said a drop in import of goods to Kashmir has impacted the overall business sentiment. “There has been a drop in import of goods from outside. Except food items and perishables, other business categories such as Gold are missing the festive demand,” Rather said. 
Farooq Dar, vice chairman of his faction of Kashmir Economic Alliance said customers have started returning to markets as they used to be on occasion of Eid prior to 2014 after which trade received a major blow.

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