Noida traders claim 50% dip in sales | noida | Hindustan Times
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Noida traders claim 50% dip in sales

Most attributed the dip to the Goods and Services Taxes (GST), demonetisation and change in banking norms.

noida Updated: Oct 18, 2017 20:53 IST
Sohil Sehran
Post demonetisation, people have stopped carrying cash with them and payments are mostly done via e-wallets and cards.
Post demonetisation, people have stopped carrying cash with them and payments are mostly done via e-wallets and cards. (Virendra Singh Gosain/HT PHOTO)

Despite Noida roads being packed and a huge rush of people noticed at public places ahead of Diwali, traders claim that their sales have declined by around 50% from last year.

Most attributed the dip to the Goods and Services Taxes (GST), demonetisation and change in banking norms.

Traders said they make the highest sale in this period and small-scale traders to big businessmen were always satisfied but not this year.

Prem Shanker, 38, of Kanpur, has been selling idols and earthen lamps for the last six years at Indira Market in Sector 27. Shanker would invest Rs3-4 lakh every Diwali and make a handsome profit.

However, he said that this is the first time that he has not been able to break even. “In terms of business, Noida has become barren. In the previous years, I have seen people coming and purchasing products in bulk. This year, a shopper did not take more than three idols or lamps,” said Shanker.

Post demonetisation, people have stopped carrying cash with them and payments are mostly done via e-wallets and cards. “Our presence is seasonal and do not have point-of-sale machines (POS) to facilitate customers. We source products from those who take hard cash. We also want cash payment from customers,” Shanker said.

Another trader, Pramod Gupta, who has been running a grocery store for the last 20 years, said that government has become strict and liberty has been taken away from people. People do have money, but they are not ready to spend like they used to as they are in fear of facing action from sleuths of income tax departments, he said.

“Not only the customer is unable to buy products, even the traders also have limited products. Without Aadhaar and PAN card, a trader cannot buy products. Procuring items from branded companies requires registration with them for billing. Many changes have taken place,” said Gupta.

People are hitting the streets only for basic requirements such as lamps, candles, colours and other items used for puja.

“People have a fear inside of getting trapped in terms of spending. For making purchases of Rs1 lakh or above, you require a PAN card. The formalities have increased and these steps are not benefiting anyone. Around 99% of the money went back to banks due to demonetisation. It brought no change but banking procedures have also been changed and are proving problematic,” said Pradeep Sharma, a consumer.

Anurag Katiyar, a trader in Sector 18, who sells electronic goods on Diwali said that small-scale vendors too have to pay GST, which makes a product costlier. “If I get products without GST from Delhi, I will not be given original bill and there are chances of getting trapped on the Delhi-Noida border by the authorities,” said Katiyar.

Among sellers, the biggest blow was felt by jewellers, who said that barely any residents came to buy gold or silver.

“Money is with upper-class families who can afford to buy gold but the direction of using PAN and Aadhaar make them feel a bit uneasy. With the new directions, a lot of clerical work is also involved to make things clear and state to the government that the buyer is not in illegal possession of the gold bought by him,” said Omveer Avana, a goldsmith.

On Dhanteras, those who visited the stores mostly bought coins, worth Rs1,000 or Rs1,500.

“The 3% GST on gold makes it difficult for customers to buy jewellery as besides this, they have to pay separate GST charges on the purchases they make using credit cards. Overall, the deal is not worth the hassle for consumers,” said Mohit Aggarwal, a goldsmith in Indira Market.