Not a pleasant shopping experience for many

Deepavali shopping experience for many families is not so pleasant this time. Many of them say they have spent more than what they did last year, thanks to GST.

S. Sivagami, a resident of Anna Nagar, said: “We are restricting our purchases to half of what we shopped last year. Earlier, we could buy some more items with the additional money we pay for GST,” she said. Because of GST she has decided to make sweets at home instead of buying them.

K. Saravanan, a Tambaram resident, said he had to spend ₹1,500 more on clothes.

Curb on crackers

“I will not spend much on crackers. I think this is a good opportunity to educate my son about the pollution caused by crackers. Similarly, as far as sweets are concerned, I usually don’t buy them in big shops but in kalyana mandapams from caterers who set up shop temporarily,” Mr. Saravanan said.

But Leela Chezhian, another customer, thinks quite differently. For her GST seems to be a boon. “Let me save some money. In place of the usual number of clothes, I would restrict the number to just one sari for myself and it would be something simple,” she said.

Clothes industry insiders say that usually, during Deepavali, around 50% of the customers buy simple saris priced below ₹2,000, around 30% purchase in the next slab up to ₹5000 and only 20% purchase clothes on the slab above that.

This time, there is a GST of 5% for readymades priced below ₹1,000 and 12% for clothes above ₹ 1,000.

Earlier, an uniform 5% VAT was charged for all varieties.

Sweets and savouries that used to attract just 2% VAT now have been split into two categories.

Those who are fond of sweet stuff have to pay 5% as GST and those favouring spicy stuff 12%.

Similarly, fire crackers from around 850-odd manufacturing units that used to attract a VAT of 14.5% and an additional of 12.5 % excise duty for about 43 units, now attract a GST of 28%.

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