SC ban on crackers adds to GST, demonetization woesLast updated on Oct 17, 2017, 04:55 pm
Traders were already suffering from the blows of demonetization and GST, both of which hit business severely.
Now those in Delhi have another woe added to their list: the SC's firecracker ban.
What caused troubles was the temporary lifting of the ban, during which many procured crackers worth crores.
A shopkeeper in Sadar Bazaar says this has been the worst business in five years.
A temporary lifting, and then re-enforcing of the ban
On September 13, the SC lifted a year-old ban on sale of firecrackers. It was enforced last November, after Diwali 2016 left the capital struggling to breathe.
It capped the number of sale licenses at 500, half of 2016.
But after a petition challenged the revocation of the ban, the SC on October 9 re-enforced it till November 1. Diwali is on October 19.
The loss in Sadar Bazaar itself goes over Rs. 1cr
Of the 500 licenses, 24 went to traders in Sadar Bazaar. Each procured crackers worth over Rs. 5L.
But now, around Rs. 1.2cr worth of crackers will go waste in Sadar only.
"This time, sales aren't even 50% of our usual figure," said Vaibhav Singh, a shopkeeper.
"We are in ruins, with losses running into crores," said Harjit Singh Chhabra, Sadar Nishkarm Welfare Association chief.
On the other side, customers have no cash post demonetization
Retailers from all over used to come to Sadar's wholesale market especially during festive periods, but this time, GST has left businesses dull.
"We've lost even our permanent customers," said Aachal Jain, a trader at Sadar.
As for customers, the lack of cash is a problem. "We are not even spending half of what we did last year," said Sandeep Singh of Karol Bagh.