When cheap Chinese goods replaced patriotism
It was patriotism that encouraged 26-year-old Sudhir Sahani to purchase the slightly over-priced Indian made lightings over the cheaper Chinese lightings last Diwali. However, with the prices of the same rising higher post GST, Sahani doesn’t feel he can afford to purchase those in bulk any more.
“The Indian lights are already four or five times costlier than those which are smuggled from China or Myanmar. Now with the implementation of GST, these are 28% costlier. We cannot afford such price rise. The only choices we have are either to leave our house undecorated or purchase the Chinese goods. It would feel really bad to have our house undecorated while others will be well lit,” Sahani added. Sahani isn’t the only one who is compelled to make that choice.
“Last year, we’ve had a very good sale of electrical goods. But now, since we don’t keep Chinese products, a lot of customers came and left without purchasing after hearing the GST implemented rates,” Rishu Ranjan Deka, a salesman in a electric goods store on GS Road said.
The wired lighting, that includes a series of LED bulbs of different colours, which are used for decoration purposes, are levied with 28% GST while only LED bulbs are levied with 12% GST.
Kamrup (Metro) Deputy Commissioner, M. Angamuthu, on the other hand said, "Like last year, we will be wielding the axe on the illegal traders of Chinese goods and those who are selling illegally procured goods."
People’s plight, however, is not confined to electrical goods. Branded clothes accumulate to up to 17% of GST.
“The GST on textiles is 5% and that of clothing above Rs 1000 are 12%. This accumulates to about 17%. The GST has brought uniformity in the taxation, but all the prices inclusive of the tax are at a higher rate. The companies have cleared their stocks through various sales last month and this month, with the puja season on, the rates have increased considerably more than what they used to be,” Rupesh Kalita, a salesman in Blackberry showroom at GS Road said.
The eateries on the other hand are apprehensive of earning lower profits unlike previous years, as post GST the taxation has shot up to as high as 20%.
“Earlier, inclusive of all taxes, we used to charge 14.5% to the people. After Narendra Modi came to power, we had to add Krishi Kalyan Cess and Swacch Bharat Cess too which used to amount to 15.5%. Now after GST implementation, we have to charge 9% for Central GST, 9% for State GST and 2% more if the customer chooses to pay through card. I think people will eat at home rather than come to restaurants,” Bhabesh Kalita, manager of Khorika Restaurant said.
Cheap Chinese goods replacing patriotism