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GST leaves apparel retailers worried

With a clear ‘No’ to plea for GST exemption on textiles from the GST Council, all stakeholders in the textile industry are unhappy. The government has also imposed 5 per cent tax on cotton yarn and fabric, which is likely to hit small non-integrated textile companies which buy fibres to weave fabrics. Though non-integrated textile firms make up more than 80 per cent of the textile industry, they are at a disadvantage since they will not get the refund of excess GST on input.

Since every aspect involved in textile sector, from production of yarn to production of fabric, from sale of cloth to sale of readymade garments, people involved in every level of textile business have hit the streets in protest across the country, including Andhra Pradesh.

However, it is entirely a different story in mid-to-high end shopping malls in two town area of Vijayawada. Fashion retailers like Lee, Reebok, Levi’s, United Colours of Benetton, Pantaloons and FBB are giving attractive discounts on apparels which a shopaholic is unlikely to miss. Denim companies Levi’s and Lee are both giving similar yet lucrative offers, United Colours of Benetton and Reebok are offering up to 50 per cent discount. The offer which Pepe Jeans has in store for its customers as well.

While end of season sale usually starts off during of July and continues till the end of August, retailers advanced the sale by a month this year, thanks to GST. Fashion at Big Bazaar in PVP Square is offering flat 50 per cent discount on all its products. Old stocks will continue to be sold at current price with current taxes. The new stocks will hit the market with the new tax regime. Before the end of season sale, Soch is confident that it will be able to push 70 per cent of its stocks.

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