The patchy and haphazard roll out of GST has affected India has resulted in traders complaining of a 40% drop in Diwali spending by customers! Of course these brick-and-mortar store owners also whined that e-portals were drawing away their business with ‘unseemly’ discounts!
A nationwide traders’ association on Monday claimed a 40 per cent drop in Diwali sales across India this year, partly blaming the “chaos” caused by “glitches in the goods and services tax”.
According to the Confederation of All India Traders, consumers seem ready to buy only essential commodities without displaying the “flair to buy other goods because of a cash shortage in their pockets”.
Consumer durables, electronic gadgets, kitchen appliances, watches, gift items, sweets, dry fruit, furniture and furnishing fabrics are among the worst-hit sectors, said the confederation, which claims to represent nearly 6 crore small and medium-sized businesses.
“The slowdown is further multiplied by glitches in the goods and services tax turning out to be a situation of chaos in the markets all over the country,” it said in a news release.
It added that most items related to the festival fell in the 28 per cent GST bracket, scaring off customers.
E-commerce portals “indulging in unfair business practices offering unrealistic discounts” too were keeping consumers from visiting the markets.
“Consumers are mainly buying essential commodities – the rolling money that drives the market during the festive season is not moving,” confederation secretary-general Praveen Khandelwal said.
He said “inputs received from various cities” suggested that Diwali sales were down 40 per cent from last year .