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The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the 37th India International Trade Fair (IITF) – 2017 on November 14 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.

He spoke about the introduction of Goods and Service Tax (GST) that it is a milestone and the new regime has reduced barriers between states, creating a more formal economy.

Last year, the average footfall of the trade fair was around 1.5 lakh people per day. This year, however, the number of visitors has been capped in view of the restricted space available to organize the mega event.

Commencing every year on November 14, the IITF fair is a showcase of India on the global stage. The event was closed on November 27, with the first four days being reserved for business visitors.

The fair is organized by India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO), a nodal agency of the Government of India for promoting country’s external trade.

The theme of the fair was “Startup India, Standup India”. Vietnam was the partner country, while Kyrgyzstan was the focus country for this edition of fair. Jharkhand participated as partner state in the event.

Around 3,000 exhibitors, including 222 companies from abroad participated and thirty-two of India’s states and union territories represented at IITF 2017.

This year, the number of business days was reduced from five to four days to accommodate more visitors from general public during the fair.

Institutions that are present in the fair, ranged from self-help groups to big business houses, and from small and medium manufacturing enterprises to digital start-ups.

People had the option to purchase their tickets in advance either online or at Metro stations and there was no ticket sales at the gates of Pragati Maidan metro station.

The footfall was 6-7 lakh from over 14 lakh last year.

The trade fair was opened for the general public from November 18-27,  between 9.30 am and 7.30 pm. While the general tickets costed Rs 60 and Rs 40 for adults and children respectively on working days, ticket prices was Rs 120 and Rs 60 on weekends.

The world-class Integrated Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre (IECC) is coming up at Pragati Maidan at a cost of Rs 2,254 crore. The redevelopment of the ground as a modern, up- to-date centre for holding global conferences and exhibitions has been planned.

Some buildings, including the Hall of Nations and all state pavilions, have been demolished for the construction the new exhibition centre.