Indo-Nepal border areas turned into busy shopping marts all of a sudden with Nepal’s most-famous festival Dashain coming sooner!
As part of shopping ahead of the country’s 15-day Dashain festival, Nepalis have reportedly started thronging across towns in the Indo-Nepal borders for festival shopping.
Buyers are showing a special interest in textiles, daily essentials and spices from the bordering Indian towns owing to their cheaper pricing compared to the Nepali market.
Though Indian markets sharing border with Nepal receive good number of Nepali buyers, the number goes to new high during the Dashain season.
According to Nepali entrepreneurs operating in the region, an estimated 300 individuals travel across the Indian border accounting to an estimated Rs 1 million spending daily.
“The closure of the Gauri Phanta market, which is situated a kilometer from the border, had cheered Nepali traders in Dhangadhi. They don’t hesitate to travel even 30 km to the Palia market because the goods are cheaper,” says Rishi Poudel, a local trader in Dhangadhi.
“Local consumers don’t shop in Dhangadhi. Dhangadhi has been attracting Indian shoppers as foreign goods are available in the Nepali markets,” says another trader Hem Chandra Ojha.
Local consumers from Nepal prefer Indian products majorly because of cheaper prices with almost 100% difference in pricing compared to Nepali markets.
“As prices of daily essentials commodities are relatively lower, almost all locals travel to the Indian market,” says Kabita Bista, a local customer.
Locals also argue that Nepali traders sell at higher prices during the festival season, forcing Nepalis to go for Indian markets.
“They don’t pay customs while importing goods. They charge high prices even though they import goods through informal channels,” says Ramesh Bhatta, another local of Dhangadhi.
Nepalis celebrate Dashain on a grand scale with even the Nepal Government making special festival arrangements to woo the public.