Sale of woolen garments plummets at Wellington

Report by: 
TOHID ALI
Kolkata
25 Dec 2017

Lack of a cold spell and implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) have taken its toll on sale of woolen garments at the traditional winter garments fair held every year at Wellington Square in Kolkata.
While during the past years on an average a seller used to sell about 50 pieces of garments, this year the figure has come down to a paltry 20 and  there is hardly any sign of sales picking up as cold breeze is yet lash the city giving cold comfort to the assembled peddlers who come mainly from north-eastern states.
Says Sunil from Arunachal Pradesh who has been coming to the market for the last 7 years to sell his garments. ``Cold winds still elude the city and that is why demand for warm clothes has not yet picked up. But still we hope the situation will improve if mercury drops further down.'' He says.
What is on display at the pavement of the square is a plethora of garments that includes shawls, sweaters, blankets, mufflers, blazers, to name a few. People, chiefly from middle class families of the city and its suburbs throng the place and purchase garments that suit their pockets.
This year in addition to lack of a cold spell what added to the woes of the traders was the introduction of GST and that has made the wares costlier.
``There has been a sharp increase in price because of introduction of 5 per cent GST for winter garments. I have been selling winter garments here for the last 25 years. Now sales have gone down as GST has been introduced making the garments costlier,'' Md Nazir Hassan, a seller from Topsia, in eastern Kolkata told the Echo of India.
Even customers vouch for the claims of the shopkeepers. ``I don't see much crowd this year,'' Sumita, a housewife from Park Circus who came there to buy sweater for her son,'' told Echo of India. Echoed Amit from Central Avenue, who bought two jackets from the market,’ we get all types of garments in this market. This year price has gone up but we come here because we get all types of garments here.''