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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

Follow me to duty free

Collin Rodrigues, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, March 30, 2013
First Published: 12:32 IST(30/3/2013) | Last Updated: 14:16 IST(30/3/2013)

Duty-free stores at airports are saviours for those who forget to buy gifts on foreign travels or are just looking for a cheap deal on imported items. While we’re used to shopping at them inside airports, Mumbaikars can now shop at one of these store outside as well.

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In a first-of-its-kind marketing initiative, a newly opened store in Borivali, which belongs to fashion designer Riyaz Gangji won’t charge duty on designer clothing sold there. “As far as I know, Borivali doesn’t have designer stores. I’m catering to customers who are not used to buying designer outfits,” says Gangji.

The designer is calling his new store in Borivali ‘Duty Free’, which means that he won’t be charging the five per cent VAT (value added tax) imposed by the government on every outfit sold.

Until recently, an excise duty was also applicable on apparel, which was abolished in the recent Union Budget.

“My store opened much before the budget and so far, I have been paying the government VAT as well as excise duty on behalf of my customers. But from April this year, excise won’t be charged on garments, so I can heave a sigh of relief,” adds Gangji.

He also says, “My store will remain duty free for the next two years.” Gangji  claims that in these two years, the store will run as a non-profit entity. He adds, “I am not benefiting monetarily from the sale of garments at the store. I am currently making a 10 per cent profit on every outfit that I sell, but this amount is used to pay maintenance bills and my employees’ salaries. I can afford this business model because of all the other stores that I own in the city.”

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