The global economic slowdown has not spared even the Diwali gift boxes being distributed by India Inc as the companies have slashed their budget for the same by 25 per cent this year, industry body Assocham said.
"Rough estimates reveal that last year business houses distributed gifts amounting to Rs 2,000 crore during Diwali.
This year it is expected to come down by Rs 500 crore (Rs 5 billion) and stagnate at Rs 1,500 crore (Rs 15 billion)," it said.
High input costs, downturn in Indian economy and high cost of credit have forced corporates to minimise their budget for gift distribution as the ongoing slowdown will continue for another couple of months, the industry body added.
The items being chosen for gift articles for Diwali this year by businessmen are mostly those imported from China because of their cost competitiveness and attractive packaging, Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said.
This year items like silver and gold coins, wrist watches, brass and silver ware are being avoided by business houses because of cost factor, Rawat said.
Previously, electronic items such as kitchen appliances, handsets, accessories and PC games saw surge in sales during festive season.
Plastic items and toys are being picked up by the concerned department in the corporate world for the gift purposes, he added.
Sale of dry fruits has also gone up by nearly 40 per cent in the last couple of days from well known wholesale market as these are considered handy and most acceptable commodities.