With sizzling temperatures round the corner, residents have started thronging markets looking for cooling equipments, such as fans, coolers and air conditioners (AC) to combat the heat.
Foreseeing the demand, shopkeepers too have started stocking ACs.
However, due to increased input cost in manufacturing these equipments and increase in central excise duty from 10% last year to 12% this year, people will now have to shell out more for purchasing these equipments as compared to last year.
Satwinder Singh, owner of Novelty Electricals, said, “With the temperature increasing, people have started buying fans and coolers to cope up with the heat. For the past 15 days, market has been witnessing an upward trend in sale of these equipments. With further rise in temperature in the coming weeks, we are hopeful that sale of ACs would also begin.”
Ludhiana Electrical Merchants Association secretary Jasmit Singh Makkar said people had started looking for electrical equipments to deal with hot weather conditions.
“However, due to increased central excise duty on ACs and increased input costs, the prices of both window and split ACs have escalated,” he said.
Makkar said prices of both types of ACs had gone up by 20% this year, adding that a one-tonne window AC, which was available for Rs. 16,500 last year, would now be sold for Rs. 18, 500. The prices of split ACs too have witnessed similar rise this year.
Similarly, the prices of fans have seen an increase of about 5%.
Mohitash Garg of MG Electricals in Sadar Bazar electrical market, said due to increased transportation charges and increased cost of raw material, the cost of electrical fans had gone up.
Meanwhile, traders feel customers would continue to opt for 0.75 or one-tonne ACs.
“Customers have become more aware about purchasing ACs. Star-based energy performance standards are proving to be a big help for customers while purchasing ACs, as these standards help decide on ACs that can reduce electricity consumption and give better results.” He said two-star and three-star ACs had emerged as the preferred choice of customers, as they are affordable and efficient.