Rs 2,000 note boosts currency garland biz

The shopkeepers though happy to talk about the business, did not want to discuss 'demonetisation' and sought to remain anonymous

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A shopkeeper displays the currency garlands popular in weddings

While the country debates demonetisation a year on, the city's currency garland business is happily on track.

If shopkeepers at the city's oldest market, Lokhand Bazaar in Manek Chowk, are to be believed, the new currency offers scope for better choice, thanks to the Rs 2,000 note!

Interestingly, most of the shopkeepers though happy to talk about the business, did not want to discuss 'demonetisation' and sought to remain anonymous.

Sandeep Patwa, a shopkeeper in the business of decorative garlands, said wedding costs will continue to go up and so will the demand for currency note garlands, "People will spend on weddings and it will be more ostentatious than that of the previous generation."

He said the smaller the currency note, the more is the labour cost. "In fact the cost of the currency note is directly proportional to the number of weddings happening. The more the weddings, the less the cost of a currency note," said Patwa.

Another shopkeeper in Madhupura market near Kalupur said often the customers are from Rajasthan, UP and Punjab. "Gujaratis don't get such garlands much. They pay us the value of the garland plus making charge," he said.

"Rs 100 is the most commonly demanded but if the garland provides scope for accommodating other currencies, they will demand that too," he added. "We need new notes for such garlands otherwise they will not hold together. We usually staple them."

"We even make garlands of Rs 10. If someone is poor, and makes a garland worth Rs 1000, the smaller denomination notes will give the impression that there was too much money on display," said another shopkeeper.

A wedding planner said the currency garlands were not the norm for Gujarati weddings.

"I have seen that the new generation stays away from such displays of wealth but it is the old generation that wants to continue it mostly in the name of tradition. It is not a common phenomenon in Gujarati weddings at least," said Mitesh Mehta of Wedding Yatra.

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