Mangaluru, Oct 18, 2017: Local traders in the city attributed the inclement weather, lack of interest among children because of campaigns in schools on eco-friendly initiatives as some of the reasons for a slump, but according to some leading traders, it seems the main reason was high GST slab. The government has levied the highest tax slab of 28% on crackers on MRP.
Prior to imposition of GST on firecrackers, the traders had to pay a tax of 14.5%, are also some of the reasons for the dip in sales. Supreme Court ruling on ban against burning firecrackers in Delhi had an impact on the market in the city as well. Outlets used to be jam-packed during Diwali. This year, they wear a deserted look. There is hardly any business.
A long time trader who runs a franchise of Indian crackers and fireworks, said the collective conscience was against buying China-made crackers. The public is against Chinese products because of the wounds that country has inflicted on India.He added that he did not know of any shop in the city that sells Chinese firecrackers and sparklers this year.
China-made crackers were cheap and of bad quality, people used to buy. However, this year, only Indian crackers are sold, which are of better quality and hence cost more, people think twice before investing. China-made crackers worth Rs 10 lakh were sold last year, while this year, only Indian crackers are on sale because of public demand.
The two other visible reasons mentioned were the effects of demonetisation and GST. "Since the market is down, the flow of money is slow. Moreover GST has made things worse," it was said. He said his outlet has seen a decline of at least 25-30% in sale of firecrackers. He said incessant rain, too, added to the woes of the cracker dealers.
Managing partner of Maya Traders, said though there was not much downfall in the overall turnover, the sale of crackers had certainly declined. He reiterated that ban on China-made crackers had a role to play in the fall in sale. Also, the district administration,had not granted permission to set up firecracker stalls on roadside. The change of the district DC has apparently further led to the delay in knowing whether these hawkers would get licences or not. Such stalls, which used to be setup across the city, used to make a profitable business. Though it was too early to say whether the expected business would hold, it was now definitely on the low side.