GST effect: Malls lure Mumbai shoppers with lucrative discounts, movie tickets cheaper | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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GST effect: Malls lure Mumbai shoppers with lucrative discounts, movie tickets cheaper

Mumbai city news: Enjoying a weekend tipple will be the same as liquor is excluded from GST

mumbai Updated: Jul 01, 2017 10:22 IST
Thane residents hit malls, hoping to score a good deal on clothes and other luxury items, despite the tax.
Thane residents hit malls, hoping to score a good deal on clothes and other luxury items, despite the tax.(Praful Gangurde)

Manoj Desai, executive director of Bandra’s G7 Multiplex and Agripada’s Maratha Mandir and a torchbearer for Mumbai’s single screen theatres has no weekend jitters about GST.

“Effective today, moviegoers at G7 and Maratha Mandir will pay only Rs80, and Rs100 for balcony seats,” he says. “Advance bookings have increased as a result. This is my way of passing on what will be profits to the public.”

Under the new tax system, multiplexes and film exhibitors will levy 18% tax on tickets priced at Rs100 or lower, and 28% on tickets that cost over Rs100. Multiplex owners won’t be thrilled with the 28%, he says, since previous taxes had pushed ticket prices up by almost 45%. “They can’t charge as much as they do now,” he chuckles.

You don’t have to think twice about eating out or shopping this weekend either. Zorawar Kalra, founder and managing director of Massive Restaurants is confident that GST will not have an adverse effect on his six brands, which include the trendy Farzi Café and Pa Pa Ya.

He’s has been looking forward to its implementation. “Eating out will not be more expensive. If anything, prices will go down marginally, in the absence of a separate service tax and value added tax (VAT)” he says.

Enjoying a weekend tipple will be the same too, “Since liquor is excluded from GST,” he says. “We haven’t received information about liquor prices going up but even if they do, we won’t pass it on to the customer.”

The days preceding the GST rollout witnessed a flurry of pre-GST sales. But there’s no reason – yet – to avoid the malls, even if luxury items will now attract the 28% tax. High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel, is luring weekend shoppers with more incentives.

“We look forward to a good start today,” says Rajendra Kalkar, President (West), The Phoenix Mills Limited. The mall is rewarding high-spenders (those whose purchases total Rs 1 and Rs 2 lakh) with free hotel stays, salon services, drinks and discount vouchers worth up to Rs 50,000.

If you want to celebrate with cake or chocolate, however, prepare for disappointment. Culinary indulgences have been hit. “I’m stunned to see an 18% levy on cakes and 28% on chocolates,” says Mehernosh Khajotia, owner, Celebrations Fine Confections. “Mine is a small business. No one will buy at such steep prices, no matter how good the quality.”

“Cumulative tax is just 5%. But to avail that, I can only use products manufactured in Maharashtra and sell in Maharashtra,” he says. The 28% tax means delivery services such as Swiggy and UBEReats (which take a 25% to 30% commission) are no longer within his price range. Small businesses such as his will find it especially hard to expand their customer base.