Agra– The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has claimed that there was a 60 per cent dip in the sales of Chinese goods this Diwali as a result of the massive social media campaign urging people to boycott Chinese products.

“Even the traders showed lack of enthusiasm in selling Chinese products,” a CAIT spokesperson said.

Instead of Chinese goods, people preferred earthen lamps and decorative items made from paper, clay and plastic to decorate their houses, and some households even used last year’s material for decoration purposes.

Less consumption of Chinese goods did not deter people from celebrating the festival with great fanfare.

“Realising the mood among the people because of the social media campaign, traders across the country were seen reluctant in displaying Chinese goods on the counter and some traders had even put “Make in India” boards at their business establishments to woo consumers,” a CAIT spokesperson said.

“These statistics are based on the indications gathered by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) from 20 cities in different states, including Delhi, Mumbai, Nagpur, Jaipur, Ahmadabad, Kanpur and Bhopal which are generally considered as distribution cities,” the spokesperson said.

CAIT National President B.C. Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said the social media campaign, which affected consumers beside the markets, further intensified following the statement in the Chinese media that “India can only bark”. The people decided to opt for Indian products which included earthen lamps, decorative items made from clay and plastic, dry fruits, sweets, FMCG products and Indian electronica, among others.

Crackers made at Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu were preferred in comparison to Chinese crackers.

Although alternatives to various Chinese products were very limited people still focussed more on Indian goods.

In order to discourage sale of Chinese goods in India, the need to develop alternative products was felt for which the government has to plan a long-term strategy by providing all-out support to our small manufacturing sector to produce quality goods at cheaper prices and augment their manufacturing capacity, a resident here said.

The government has to make the latest technology available to the small sector and must incur substantial expenditure on research and development. If all these steps are taken simultaneously, our trade can do wonders since we have everything at our end to give competition in the global market, the resident added.