‘Bahi Khatas’ make way for electronic gadgets this Diwali

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 21 Oct 2017 09:52:28


By Praveen Vighre,

‘DIWALI’ is the biggest Hindu festival of India and there is a lot of fanfare attached to it. Apart from the religious importance, it is also an important time for the business community. It is the occasion of opening new books of accounts for traders. Right from purchasing of the new accounting ledger (Bahi Khata) on the day of Guru-Push Nakshatra or Dhanteras.

Starting accounting in the new ledger right from the day of Laxmi Pujan is an old traditional practice which is largely followed by the big and small traders of the country. But with the changing accounting practices and emphasis on computerisation or digitisation, many businessmen have done away with the traditional practice, said sources in market.

Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) National President B C Bhartia said, “The changes in Diwali puja indicate that traders are also not lagging behind in embracing new technology.” Dyaneshwar Rakshak, General Secretary of Nagpur District Chillar Kirana Vyapari Sangh shared, “From last three years, we are not using cash books in any of our 12 chains of grocery stores of ‘Rakshak Bandhu.’ The various returns are to be filled online and so, instead of maintaining manual as well as electronic data, we have adopted electronic or computerised accounting.” He also noted that their Association had 3,000 members out of which majority had stopped using cash books.

According to Sadhana Umhale of M/s S G Umhale, Thakur and Company, one of the leading stationery stores of Nagpur since last 75 years, said, “Four years back the sale of ledgers and cash books during Diwali season would be worth around Rs 25,000. But year after year the sale has been going down. These year, it was the lowest till now. We have sold ledgers and cash books worth only Rs 5,000.”

Her customers have revealed that they had adopted computerised accounting and were taking just one cash book, just for the sake of business tradition. The sale of ledger has reduce by 90 per cent, Umhale told. She also noted that there was an increase in the demand for computer stationery. Like Umhale, these was the common reaction of several other stationery shop owners in the city.
Praveen Khandelwal, General Secretary of CAIT, which has mooted a unique initiative this Diwali said, “For the first time in the country, besides holding traditional Diwali puja at physical stores, the traders in different states performed puja of GST portal, their computer and mobile phones. With implementation of GST, the GST portal has become the new cash book, ledger and books of accounts of the trading community instead of traditional ‘Bahi Khata’. Diwali Puja, considered to be most auspicious for traders, is particularly performed at business places and since GST portals have also become the new business place, we performed Diwali Puja of the portal along with the puja at the actual stores.”
This year, the traders, while worshipping GST portal, are praying for its smooth functioning to liberate the traders from GST hardships and bottlenecks.

At CAIT headquarters in New Delhi, pandits chanted mantras to perform Diwali puja by switching the GST portal on and applying ‘tilak’ on the portal and offering floral garlands.

In place of the account books, computers and other means of business communication including laptop, phones etc., were also worshipped, Khandelwal informed.