The future of kaju katlis and badaam barfis seems uncertain this festival season with the shopkeepers at Asias largest dry fruits market in Khari Baoli downing shutters in protest.
The market in Walled City has been closed since July 17,with the traders protesting against lack of cold storage facilities and complicated procedure for transportation of their goods.
The traders,represented by Delhi Kirana Committee,have asked for permission to set up their own cold storages in the city,in addition to the limited facilities in Narela. At present,the dry fruits are stored in Kundli,Haryana,and transported to Delhi.
Dry fruits get spoilt very soon during the monsoon. Either the government should provide us cold storage facilities or give us permission to set up or own, said Dinesh Chawla of Lahore Dry Fruits Market near Fatehpuri Masjid.
The committee also wants the repeal of a number of notifications issued by the Trade and Taxes department of the Delhi government.
The notifications,which came into effect on June 15,require traders to fill up an online form for bringing dry fruits into Delhi.
Computer literacy is low in the market. When we dont send this form along,the truck is fined, said Lalit Mohan Bansal,who owns Gordhandas Lalit Mohan.
The notifications increase the penalty for not filling up the form from 5 per cent to 40 per cent.
The committee has asked that the DVAT 33 form be brought back and the penalty be decreased to 5 per cent. DVAT 33 form is a delivery note with details of the consignment and transport vehicle.
Fine for illegible handwriting and mistakes in internal accounting has been increased to Rs 10,000 from Rs 500.
We have suffered a loss of Rs 350 core. If we do not come to an agreement with the government,we will appeal to other traders associations and call for a city-wide strike, Committee President Prem Kumar Arora said.
Bikanerwala in Chandni Chowk is already feeling the effects of the strike. Demand rises by 30 per cent at this time of the year. We have stocks of dry fruits to last the next 10 days only, said store manager Vivek Parikh.