GST chill on local cooler industry, sales plummet

HYDERABAD: The implementation of Goods & Services Tax (GST) seems to have poured cold water on the hopes of local cooler makers and traders in the city.
For, despite temperatures shooting up suddenly in the city, unbranded local cooler traders, who should have ideally been rejoicing at the prospect of a soaring mercury, are twiddling their thumbs with GST pushing up the prices of their coolers almost at par with those of branded ones.

Traders in Troop Bazar, a wholesale hub for electrical goods, are on tenterhooks due to the cooling demand for their wares this year. Till last year, during this time, they were doing roaring business with customers flocking the market to purchase coolers to beat the heat.

“Though summer has begun, our business is showing no signs of heating up as GST has narrowed the gap between prices of unbranded and branded coolers. It does not look like we will be able to do much business this year as most people are opting for branded coolers and air-conditioners to get respite from the heat, which is likely to soar further next month,” an upset trader in Troop Bazar told TOI.

Non-branded medium-sized coolers, that till last year were priced in the ?2,500-3,000 bracket, have become expensive by ?500-1000 post GST. “Who will cough up ?3,500 or ?4,000 on local coolers when they are getting branded ones or second hand ACs at slightly higher prices?” rued a trader.

Traders complained that sales of coolers manufactured by local electricians or mechanics has come down drastically to one or two pieces a day with even local electrical shops now refusing to stock local coolers post GST.

“Many white goods shops would start stocking up on local coolers as many customers preferred them over the pricier branded ones. But this time, the scenario has changed completely. As compared to sales of 50 units per day at wholesale rates, even selling 100 units a week is proving to be an uphill task. Last year, around this time, we were selling around 2,000 units a week,” lamented Sk Moniruddin, a trader.



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