THE DEMONETISATION of old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 had an impact on sales in Chandigarh, with the VAT collection coming down by Rs 21 crore in December last year. Going by the official records, the VAT collection recorded by the Excise and Taxation Department in November 2016 was Rs 142 crore whereas it came down to Rs 121 crore in the next month.
WATCH WHAT ELSE IS IN THE NEWS
Sanjiv Chadha, president of Progressive Traders’ Association, Sector 17, said during that period only essentials were bought. “People were panic-stricken when the demonetisation was announced. There was no cash available and the situation worsened in December. People bought only essentials like confectionery and other things. Clothes, apparel and other luxury things were not bought at all,” he said.
Vinod Kumar, a Sector 22 trader, said, “I had to sell goods on credit because there wasn’t any cash. Sales obviously had to drop.”
Things are not back to normal for jewellers as even now they are seeing just 10 to 15 per cent sales. When the demonetisation was announced, the majority of the jewellers had shut their shops for over a week in the wake of checks that were being conducted at that time. However, they claimed that they had closed down because there were no customers.
A senior official of the excise department said “because there was panic, some traders had bought point of sale machines immediately and switched to digital mode of payment”. Otherwise, the VAT collection could have fallen further.
Shopkeepers feel that sales will remain affected for a couple of months. “It will take at least six months for normalcy to return as there is a cap on withdrawal of money from banks. There are many who do not use digital mode of payment even now,” said Rajiv Sharma, a Sector-19 based shopkeeper.
After the demonetisation, the traders had claimed that their sales had come down and they were sitting idle because there were no customers.