Pune: There was a rush for gold purchase in the city till late Friday night, a few hours before the country entered the era of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Parag Gadgil, the director of Gadgil Jewellers on Laxmi Road, said there had been a higher footfall and sale throughout the day, especially for gold jewellery and sovereign. “The sale and rush today (Friday) is between 40% and 50% higher than usual days. Many are coming in with queries regarding the change in taxes on gold purchase from Saturday,” he said.
Gadgil said the consumers would have been less worried if they had checked the change in tax on purchase. “According to the new GST slab, gold purchase will entail a hike of barely 1%. Most of the customers are simply rushing in thinking there will some major changes in the gold price,” he said.
For consumers, any saving is a good saving, though. A regular at Gadgil’s, Kumar Bankhile said he had specifically come in to make a purchase on Friday, before the GST kicked in. “Yes, I am aware of the minor price difference. But for regular people like us, every rupee saved matters. So I have purchased a gold sovereign,” said the laboratory supervisor at an educational institute.
The high-buy mood was missing in electronics and cellphone stores on Friday. “The taxation will actually benefit customers after the GST is introduced. Hence, we expect sales to get better after July 1. In addition, the 1.5% additional tax on electronic goods will be given to us as rebate from the electronics manufacturers,” said Mukund Parmar of electronics store Sultan’s.
Stores dealing in apparel are set to suffer. “There is a large stock we have to cover. The retail chain we deal for advanced the July sale to the last 10 days of June ending on Friday. How we can make sales when the customer is still waiting for salary, that too after a month full of expenses such as school fees and others, which usually occur around May and June,” said Cotton King outlet dealer on Laxmi Road, Madhav Godbole.
For apparel purchases below Rs1,000, the GST will be 5% from the current 6%, while the same above Rs1,000 will be 12% instead of 6%. “So it is a give and take for us. While we have less tax on lower priced items, the tax of higher priced ones is doubled. And the retail chain will not offset this change, so we will have to forego it from our pockets,” he said.