BANKING TRADE AND COMMERCE

WHOLESALE TRADE.

As Chandrapur is a backward district there are very few places where wholesale trade is carried on. The chief centres of whole-sale trade are Chandrapur, Warora, Gadhchiroli and Brahmapuri. The main items of wholesale trade are rice, jowar, wheat, timber, charcoal, til, tobacco, cotton, gram, etc. At the time the old district Gazetteer of Chanda was published i.e., in 1909, a large quantity of rice was imported into the district. But today rice is produced abundantly and forms, therefore, the main item of wholesale trade. By 1965-66, the total turnover of rice was estimated to be about 50,000 tons or 5 lakhs of quintals. Among grains, jowar is the next important item of the wholesale trade, with a total turnover of about 70,000 quintals. Mug, Kultha, Udid and Wheat came next with a turnover of 30,000, 30,000, 50,000 and 15,000 quintals, respectively.

Paddy is brought to the market place by cultivators on their persons. Luchai is the main variety of rice forming about 90 per cent of the total turnover of trade. Mul, Desaiganj, Gadhchiroli and Sindewahi are the important places of whole-sale trade. In 1965, over two lakh quintals of rice was exported by Government from the district. Almost all the tahsil places or major villages are having rice mills in the district.

Til and til oil are mostly exported outside the district to Delhi and other places. The main market places for til are Chandrapur and Warora. In 1965, til was valued at Rs. 165 per quintal and til oil at Rs. 300 per quintal.

For linseed, the important market places are Chandrapur and Warora. Milling of linseed is done in almost all the big villages in the district. In 1965, linseed was valued at Rs. 122 per quintel. Almost the whole produce of linseed was consumed in the district hence it is not exported at all.

Jowar is an important kharif produce of the district and the staple food of the people. It is, therefore, traded on a large-scale throughout the district. The important places, however, are Chandrapur, Warora, Nagbhir, Brahmapuri, Mul, Rajura and Desaiganj. The total turnover of jowar in the district was 70.000 quintals in 1965. Jowar was brought to the market places by the cultivators themselves. It was then auctioned. As it is the staple food of the people, a large quantity of jowar is consumed in the district. The surplus is exported to Gujrat, Madhya Pradesh. Vidarbha and Bombay.

Timber.-Among all the districts of Maharashtra, Chandrapur has the largest forest area where plenty of timber is available. Ballarshah, Chandrapur and Sironcha are the important markets for timber. Warora, Wirur, Warsa. Gadhchiroli and Allapalli are other places where there is a wholesale trade of timber.

Timber is transported in bullock-carts to various forest depots. The produce is then carried by trucks to the rail centres for export. At some places elephants are also used for transporting the wood. Timber is exported to Gujrat, Madras, Bombay, Mysore and Andhra Pradesh. The timber traders are generally forest contractors, who take the forest coupes in auction from the Government as most of the forest area in the district is owned by the Government. Some of these forests have been purchased by the Government from private owners. Wood cutting and sizing of wood is done at Ballarshah and Chandrapur where there are a number of wood cutting factories.

The annual turnover of timber ranges from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 3 crores. The entire trade is financed mostly by the money-lenders since the banking and other credit facilities are very meagre in the district. The trade is conducted by the persons who are called Thekedars. By 1965, there were about 100 Thekedars in the district. The auction of timber is done under the super-vision of the divisional forest officers.

Like the trade in timber, charcoal trade is also carried on in the district which is covered by dense forests. Considerable charcoal, for example, comes from the forests of Kurkheda and Gadhchiroli circles. The main trading centres of charcoal are Chandrapur, Ballarshah, Bhandak, Tadali, Warora and Wirur.

After firewood is collected from various forest areas in the district it is burnt in cultis, and a fine charcoal is then produced. Most of the produce is then exported to Bombay, Surat, Poona, Sholapur, and Hyderabad by railways. As compared to the exports, local trade is negligible. The wagon of charcoal is valued at from Rs. 2,800 to Rs. 3,000. The total turnover of charcoal on an average amounted to Rs. 32,00,000 per year.

Bamboos, an important forest produce, who forms an item of the wholesale trade in the district. Bamboo comes mostly from the Kurkheda and Gadhchiroli circles. The kind of bamboo mostly in common use-thorny bamboos-found only in the east of Sironcha and Gadhchiroli is brought in bullock-carts by the villagers and sold to the businessmen through brokers. There is no regulated market in the district for bamboos.

The businessmen purchase bamboos mainly for making mats. The latter are exported to Bhusawal. Amravati, Jalgaon and places in Vidarbha region. The bamboos are also exported to Gujrat.

Trade in cloth is quite significant at all the tahsil places in Chandrapur district and also at the other market places and bazars. Cloth is brought mainly from Nagpur, Bombay, Male-gaon, Ichalkaranji, Behrampur, Surat, etc.

The stock with the trader consists mostly of saris brought from Malegaon, Nagpur and Surat. But it also consists of shirting, coating, poplin, dhotis, etc. The chaddars arc imported from Amravati.

Trade in general provisions is carried on throughout the district but it is more concentrated and brisk in towns such as Chandrapur, Warora and Brahmapuri than at other places. The provisions mainly comprise necessaries and articles of daily consump-tion. They are brought from different places. For example gul and groundnut are brought from Akola, coconut oil and ground nut oil from Nagpur, nuts from Bombay and so on. Most of the goods are brought in trucks.

Of these centres, Warora is the most important one. It is mainly a distributing centre. Rest of the goods are exported to places within a distance of twenty-five miles from Warora (only 25 per cent of the goods arrived are consumed here).

Among the goods exported til and tur figure most prominently. The annual turnover of trade at Warora was worth well over Rs. 50 lakhs in 1968. The goods are brought to Warora mainly by trucks from Bombay, Nagpur, Chandrapur and Akola, the transport charges being Rs. 10 to 11 per quintal from Bombay, Rs. 1 from Nagpur, Re. 1 from Chandrapur and Rs. 2 from Akola. There was one Government godown and one godown of the Maharashtra Warehousing Corporation. The latter charged 20 paise per day as storing charges. The private godowns were numerous. But three of them were quite large having an individual capacity of 200 bags. They charged Rs. 25 to Rs. 30 per month.

The margin of profit for the traders in general provisions was 4 per cent on wholesale and 2 per cent on retail trade.

Tobacco forms an important item of trade in Chandrapur district. As a matter of fact very little tobacco is locally produced. Most of it is brought either from Uttar Pradesh or Gujrat. The Gujrat tobacco known as "Deshi" or "black patla" is of superior type and has a better demand. The chief centres of trade for tobacco are Chandrapur, Warora and Brahmapuri.

At Warora the total turnover in tobacco trade amounted to over Rs. 40,000 in 1965. The tobacco brought mainly comprised three varieties; the dust tobacco, the patla tobacco (used mostly for chewing) and the Kayamganj or Kampla, costing Rs. 15, Rs. 18 and Rs. 20 per 10 kg., respectively, exclusive of the duties levied. The difference between the wholesale and the retail price of tobacco was insignificant as can be seen from the follow-ing statement: -

Variety

Wholesale Prices per kg.

Retail Prices per kg.

(1)

(2)

(3)

 

Rs.

Rs.

Dust

4.00

6

Patla

5.50

8

Kampla

5.00

8

The sale price which is inclusive of duty comes to Rs. 35, Rs. 46 and Rs. 44 for these varieties, respectively. There are no Government godowns for holding the stock of tobacco, although there are about eight private godowns.

Since Chandrapur is covered by forests to a great extent there is ample production of bidi leaves in the district. Bidi leaves form an important item of the foreign trade. They are exported to Japan and America and thus constitute an important source of foreign exchange to India.

The trade in bidi leaves is carried on since long in the district especially in the Zamindari areas. The trade has, however, declined due to the abolition of zamindari and the curbs on the monopoly system. At present there are about 25 traders working in this field. They are all contractors. They make contracts with the Government, cut the leaves and sell them to bidi manufacturers especially at Bangalore, Madras and Poona. The manufacturers or their agents come to the district and purchase these leaves at the rate of Rs. 28 to 30 per 40 kilograms. (The price is usually quoted in 40 kg.) There is no auction or bidding of bidi leaves. The sales are negotiated by bargains directly. The prices quoted above do vary, the variation chiefly depending upon the production of leaves in Madhya Pradesh and Vidarbha regions.

For storing the bidi leaves there are no godowns. They are stacked in the open. The trade in bidi leaves is mainly financed by the traders themselves. They do not get any credit facilities from banks or other sources. The District Central Co-operative Bank also does not provide any finance to the traders in the bidi trade. The traders have no association or organisation of their own in the district.

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