Demonetisation Effect? Sharp Drop In Attendance At IFFI This Year
Old Indian currency notes (Photo: AP)
Panaji: Out of the 7,500-odd delegates who registered for the 47th edition of the IFFI in Goa, only 4,000 have actually turned up at the festival, with an official on Thursday suggesting that demonetisation could be one of the reasons for the drop in attendance.
This time round, 7,500 delegates had registered and around 4,000 delegates have picked up their ID cards. Normally, the difference between delegate registration and actual attendance at the event was around 1,500, said Ameya Abhyankar, Chief Executive Officer of the Entertainment Society of Goa, a state government agency responsible for the festival's logistics.
"There is a gap of around 1,000 to 1,500 between actual pick up and registration. So this is not something which is unusual," Abhyankar told a press conference at the event venue.
During an informal chat with reporters, he said people could have been deterred from attending the IFFI because of the ongoing "liquidity crisis" and that not all establishments accept credit/debit cards.
"There are certain issues which also were flagged by Pradhan mantri-ji (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) when he announced the demonetisation. He mentioned that there would be some difficulty till December 31," Abhyankar said.
Festival Director C. Sethil Rajan also said that some times delegates prefer to time their attendance at the end of the nine-day festival, which could also explain the difference in the number of delegates who have registered for the event and those who actually turned up.
"People come in at different stages of the festival. Some people decide to come in at the beginning, some people decide to come at the end," he said.