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Dhanteras this year failed to usher in good luck for kitchenware sellers who witnessed 30-40 per cent drop in sales in Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR) due to the recent Goods and Services Tax (GST) roll out, traders said here on Tuesday.
"GST is the major factor that has dampened the spirit of the market this Dhanteras. There is at least 30-40 per cent drop in sales of kitchen appliances. Earlier, we used to receive stocks from factories without proper bills. But this year, we have received the stocks with GST bills, which resulted in tax burden and also higher prices," Praveen Yadav, a wholesale trader in New Ashok Nagar, in east Delhi told IANS.
He complained that some factories have not been passing on the benefits of GST to local traders since the change in the indirect tax regime came this July.
'Dhan' in Hindi means wealth, and 'Terah' means number 13. Dhanteras is, accordingly, derived to mean the day devoted to wealth that falls on the 13th Day of Krishna Paksha of the month of Ashwin in the Indian lunar calendar.
People seek to usher in wealth to their homes and buy gold, silver and utensils as a sign of good luck on this day. In some parts of the country, people also worship Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi.
"While GST on appliances like pressure cookers and others have reduced from 18 per cent to 12 per cent, the factories have not passed on the benefits to local traders. The prices of appliances are higher as compared to last year," Yadav noted.
Some traders believe the confusion about the GST still continues.
"The sales are quite less today as compared to last year's Dhanteras. The demand from retailers have reduced. There is still a lot of confusion among traders about the new indirect tax system. I believe it has worked as a sentiment dampener among retailers," Danveer Rana, a wholesale trader in Sector 5, Noida, told IANS.
Many retailers have also slashed the stocks they order during Diwali.
"GST has hampered the sales. The sales are 40 per cent less this festive season. So, we have reduced our stock. We had bought the stock at 18 per cent tax. Post-GST, we have no option but to sell it to the customers on reduced maximum retail price as the steel household articles now attract GST of 12 per cent," Jeet Bisht, a New Ashok Nagar-based retailer told IANS.
Dhanteras is significant to the kitchenware traders as it helps them clear a major chunk of their annual stocks.