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ITPO, post push from a newly formed Exhibition Industry Association waved it’s penalty clause in respect of cancellation/re-schedulement & delayed penalty due to Coronavirus pandemic for the approved events during the financial year 2020-21 from April, 2020 to September 2020.
The notification issued by ITPO says:

A) Re-schedulement of events up to September 2020 will be allowed without any penalty.
B) For cancellation of events for 1st quarter, the cancellation is allowed without any penalty. However, a credit note will be issued to the 3rd party organiser which can be adjusted in the next event.
C) In case of event re-scheduling from lean period to the semi-peak or peak period and vice-versa, the re-schedulement charges up to September 2020 will be waived off but the third party organiser will be required to pay the published approved rentals of re-scheduled period.
D) For cancellation of 2nd quarter events, 50% penalty will be charged on the approved
events. Instead of refunding the cancellation amount , a credit note will be issued to
the 3rd party organiser of the balance amount (if any) which can be adjusted in the next
event.
E) The delayed penalty, if any, for the period 1-2-2020 to 30-4-2020 will not be charged.

This issues with the approval of Competent Authority.

Mr V. K Bansal, President of the newly formed Association of Indian Exhibition Organisers (AIEO) informed TFT about the development.

Mr. Bansal said, “During the post lockdown period, Exhibitions can play a very vital role to enhance the mood of the industry and trade in nation. We are facing an economical slump by 2.5% as expected. The Exhibition Sector can attract new buyers, new sellers and new technologies which can be adopted with ease.

He continued, A lot of exhibitions which were scheduled between March 2020 to September 2020 have either been cancelled or rescheduled for a later date. Our prominent venue, Pragati Maidan, which is managed by ITPO (A Government of India Concern) is one of the best venues in India for any and all types of large scale events and exhibitions.

As an Association, we wrote a letter to them on 16th March, 2020 asking for a certain concession in view of the decline in economy as well as the sudden disruption of events and businesses alike due to coronavirus. I believe, ITPO is either sitting idle or totally avoiding this situation as a large no. of requests have been sent by the show organisers themselves. ITPO is not bothered to respond to any of them. No calls were answered or no response on the various emails being sent. No communication on ITPO’s Official Website has been posted.

Since the past two days, we have been following up in every possible way to reach out to the concerned authorities at ITPO and now ITPO has responded and issued its first circular today itself only (i.e. A month later). Still, the notice speaks about the cancelled events from March – June but nothing about the events in the 2nd quarter. The Big Issue is – post lockdown period, we are expecting a reduction in the area of exhibition space. Suppose, if earlier we were having plans to organise the exhibition in 6000 sq. mtrs, now we are expecting only 3000 sq. mtr exhibition space area to be sold because post lockdown period all the companies will have to channelize their resources to come back to the business. Exhibition is the least priority for any of them!

We have requested ITPO to allow reduction in space also but they haven’t responded in this circular. When every other country is providing concessions exclusively for Exhibition Organisers, to come and organise exhibitions, just to announce the sentiments of the industry.

ITPO is keeping mum on the reduction or any kind of incentive or concession which they should rightfully be providing. Not even allowing any concession in the tarriffs and reduction in space. This is the burning issue which needs to be resolved on an urgent basis which we are also demanding to happen!

Further, they are not allowing cancellations for 2nd quarter events. They are allowing postponement of all the events upto September 2020 but credit note will be issued but no refund will be made by them. There are a lot of things ITPO needs to consider in view, if they want the economy of our country to be revived. I hope, ITPO’s present action will be in the interest of the nation and definitely if a no of exhibitions are organised, India will come back on its trail of achieving the target and allow prosperity in the nation.” he concluded.


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