After petrol, diesel and other essential commodities touched sky-rocketing price, now the garment business is facing dilemma as there is a hike of 20% in the clothes. The hike in price of clothes has put the garment shop owners in dilemma ahead of the Durga Puja.
The COVID-19 pandemic, lockdown, curfew has compelled the people to think twice before entering the market ahead of Durga Puja. With only few days left for the festival, the shopping hub of Northeast, Fancy Bazaar wore a deserted look as the prices of clothes have increased in Guwahati market as well as in other markets too.
The general customers have been in dilemma as the GST in garments has increased from 5 percent to 12 percent. Fancy Bazaar, which witnessed large number of footfalls during Durga Puja earlier, wore a deserted look this time due to the soaring price of clothes.
Meanwhile, the online markets have also brought down the business of shopkeepers in Fancy Bazaar as people can now buy their choice of clothes by sitting at home. The online markets have achieved milestone during these days as people do not bother to go to markets amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Notably, this year, there is only 25% sale in Fancy Bazaar. People thronged to the market ahead of one month of Durga Puja but this time, the shops wore a deserted look even before 3-4 days ahead of the puja.
According to Assam Readymade Garments Association, there are 150 dealers in Fancy Bazaar and these dealers filled their shops with garments from Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Ludhiana and other parts of the country 3-4 months prior to Durga Puja and the wholesalers and retailers bought the clothes 1 month prior to puja from different parts of Northeast but this year not a single garment shop owners have come to buy clothes from these dealers.
The garment shops have faced huge crisis during this pandemic. Although a section of people visited the market for shopping, they only bought clothes from footpaths.
Another shopkeeper Mukesh said that generally during this time when only 3-4 days left for puja we don’t even had time to respond to different customers at a time but this year we have to call the customers. “We are really surprised that the business has fallen down so much that we are not getting even our regular customers,” said Mukesh.