V.K. Bansal, Managing Director at Nexgen Exhibitions on the Delhi Police’s recent cancellation order of exhibitions in April 2021 at Pragati Maidan.
Exhibitions and Trade Fairs are main catalyst in reviving economic activities of the nation and may be perceived as part of service infrastructure. We are main constituents of Aatma Nirbar Bharat. Looking at the importance of exhibition sector, Ministry of Home Affairs has advised Ministry of Commerce to prepare SOPs for B2B Exhibitions so that this industry, which has been most affected since the pandemic hit the country – can be restarted.
At the time when our Hon’ble Prime Minister is working hard to ensure ease of doing business and committed to repeal about 6000 irrelevant law, we have been seeing a gap in communications between two departments or two governments. Delhi Disaster Management Authority ( DDMA), it’s order dated 23rd March 2021 has enforced a temporary ban on public celebration and all gathering/congregations during upcoming festival period in public places. Delhi Police which issues licence for exhibitions, going a step ahead has cancelled Licences for such B2B exhibitions which are happening in first fortnight of April by following 23rd March order of DDMA.
“This is very unfortunate that the Delhi Police could even differentiate between B2B Exhibitions and religious celebrations in public place. B2B exhibitions are attended by only invited guests and that too on the premises which are exclusively for organising exhibitions like Pragati Maidan. Think from the Organisers side; a lot of money is invested in inviting participants, all of them prepared to exhibit, the entire rentals paid to venue, and all other Opex, And there is a sudden halt”.
If such type of Government decision prevails, many of organisers will go bankrupt. What image of India will carry with foreign participants and investors with such decisions.
One the one hand the Central Government is trying hard to attract FDI, on the other- bureaucratic decision is spoiling image of India. Where is ease of doing business for us? All efforts being made by our Hon’ble Prime Minister will go in vain if such type of decision is taken? B2B exhibitions are a form of business with very much regulated and restricted entry.