Baishakh brings blessings to business

Shubhanker Karmaker | Update:

A woman browses dresses at a shop at Bashundhara Shopping Mall in Dhaka on Wednesday on the eve of Pahela Baishakh.Baishakh allowance has been introduced for the government employees over the last two years.

A total of 2.1 million government employees received Taka 700 crore Baishakh allowance this year.
Bank employees are receiving this allowance too.

Economists and businesspersons feel this Baishakh allowance helps boost sales during this festive season.
However, there are no specific statistics of overall Baishakh sales.

Naznin Ahmed, senior research fellow of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, said Baishakh is a festival that reduces the gap between the well-off and the poor.

The traditional products for Baishakh are mostly produced in villages.
This is why Baishakh is a blessing to village economy, she said.

New clothes are in high demand for Baishakh celebrations. Alongside popular clothing lines, street hawkers too offer various sorts of fashion products.
Assistant executive director of Aarong's marketing department, Tanveer Hossain said sales are high compared to last year.
He said alongside dresses, sale of clay-ware is usually highest during Baishakh.

Referring to a survey conducted by the fashion entrepreneur association five year ago, association member Azharul Haque anticipates that this Baishakh season the fashion houses might earn Taka 1,750 crore.
Online fashion stores have also been busy with Baishakh orders.

E-commerce association of Bangladesh president Rajib Ahmed said usually online traders get around 20 thousand orders per month but they are getting 25 to 30 thousand orders for Baishakh.

Offering sweets to the customers is still a tradition. Bangladesh sweet sellers' association president Mohammad Ali said the sale in sweet stores shoots up two to three times during Baishakh.
The tourism sector benefits from Baishakh too.

Tour operators association of Bangladesh president Towfiq Uddin Ahmed said almost every hotel and motel in Cox's Bazar have been booked ahead of Baishakh.

* This report, originally published in Prothom Alo Bangla print edition, has been rewritten in English by Kohinur Khyum.

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