Bhopal: GST, DeMo blues: Cloth markets wear deserted look

Bhopal: The cloth market is facing the brunt of demonetisation and new tax regime- Goods and Service tax and its negative impact is pretty evident during the ongoing festivals. The sales of clothes during Navaratri and Dussehra had taken a blow and showed a decrease of approximately sixty percent, compared to the previous year sales. The traders are keeping their fingers crossed and hope to see an increase in sales as the Diwali and the marriage season are approaching.

“There is a decrease in sales of approximately sixty percent if we compare it to last year’s Dussehra” said Anil Agrawal, owner of Agrawal cloth stores. The GST and the demonetisation have hit the business community hard. People do not have money and as a result the sales are down this year, he added. He also said that earlier people used to flood the markets during Navaratri and Dussehra but this time the market is totally deserted.

Cloth traders in the city blamed demonetisation and the new tax regime rollout for the decline in sales this festive season of Navaratri and Dussehra. Post GST, the clothes market have not picked up at all. People have purchased clothes in a bulk quantity during the pre GST period when huge discounts were offered, the traders lamented.

Speaking to us, a group of businessman rued that this festive season ‘GST aur demonetisation ne hamara Diwala Nikal Diya”. Demonetisation and pre GST sales are also one of the factors which led to downfall in the sales this year. Many people have purchased products in a bulk quantity during that period as many branded garments were available on huge discounts.

Mahendra Jain, manager of Aayush- a Multi Brand shop, said that “this time the cloth market has not picked up post GST and Demonetisation. In the past three to four months the cloth merchants are not too happy when it comes to sales. Despite being the festive season this year and the Diwali too is coming up, we expected the sale may increase but unfortunately, it is not the case”. He hoped that, the market picks up during Diwali.

Deepesh Baheti, Store In-charge of Shree Shivam said, “People are having misconception that the prices of the clothes have increased. However, it is not the case. The GST and demonetisation has indeed affected the market, but people are coming to us to purchase clothes and other items. We have launched new products and people liking it. There is not much hype this festive season as it used to be in the earlier years”. The traders are not too happy and hoped that the markets improve during Diwali and after that in the marriage season.

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