Despite chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on October 7 announcing reduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) on textile products from 12.5% to 5%, traders in the city are not entirely happy. Now, they want zero VAT on saris.
"The decision to levy VAT on saris will have an adverse affect
, as prices will invariably go up. Sari is not a ready-to-wear product. After purchase, it needs other embellishments, like pico work, inserting falls, putting charak and polish. Therefore, VAT on saris does not make sense," said Pradeep Maheshwari, president, Gurgaon Clothes Merchant Association.
Women too expressed their concern. "This means that cost will go up. This is a very unpopular move on part of government," said Nirmal Aggarwal, a customer at a sari shop.
A few years ago, Delhi and Uttarakhand governments had imposed taxes on saris, but due to protests from the traders, they eventually withdrew it.
"Earlier, we came to know that the tax is 12% and later we learnt it has been reduces to 5%. The traders are confused. If VAT is imposed on saris, the traders will be harassed," said Naresh Aggarwal, vice-president, Traders Vayapar Mandal, Haryana.
Several traders from Sadar Bazaar and Khandsa Road, where leading sari showrooms are located, said the decision will impact on sales. "If prices go up, customer will go to Delhi for their shopping. Our sales will dwindle," said Vicky Bansal, a trader.