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Diwali was dim for fashion industry reeling under demonetisation, GST

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By Nivedita 

New Delhi, Oct 31 : Style, it would appear, never goes out of fashion. But the passion to spend on designer clothes and accessories took a beating in the past year, ever since the Narendra Modi government implemented the demonetisation policy. The introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in July added to the woes, say designers.

“Demonetisation was a wonderful move by the government, but it was badly executed. They did not see the entire scenario. It has disrupted the business (of fashion). There were a lot of times that my employees — like tailors and embroiderers — could not go to the bank. Demonetisation impacted them badly,” Rahul Mishra, a regular participating designer at the Paris runways, told IANS.

The stress, he says, was felt more by weavers, embroiderers, tailors and craftspersons. The introduction of GST on July 1 impacted the same set of people more than others.

“I am not against GST. We work with handmade clothes and labour is intensive. So if I supply merchandise worth Rs 1 crore, then 12 per cent needs to be paid upfront as GST. Next month, again if I am supplying, then I have to pay 12 per cent, so I have to pay so much to GST and then wait for the sale to happen.”

He says the government should encourage the handmade industry by bringing in separate laws for it. “I want to pay taxes on what I am selling because if I am not selling, then business is less, opportunity is less and so is potential for employment,” said Mishra.

A report by Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency of India (ICRA) stated that the Indian textiles and apparel industry, which accounts for almost 24 per cent of the world’s spindle capacity and eight per cent of global rotor capacity, has been struggling due to the impact of demonetisation and GST.

The report stated that the disruptions caused by demonetisation and transition to the GST regime has “narcotised the Indian apparel and fabric industry”.

Other designers say they are witnessing reduced business, but they are hopeful that the forthcoming wedding season may bring a touch of relief. Many feel that banning of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes was a good move to weed out corruption in the country, even though it took its toll on the design world. GST only added to their troubles.

Designer Samant Chauhan is disappointed that the festive season failed to raise the shoppers’ spirit.

“I always knew that the market is slow and we will get good sales in Diwali. But things were not that great during the festive time either, with sales at less than half. There was no (big) party happening on Diwali, so why will people buy designer clothes. I think the note ban did have an impact on that (party culture).

He said that after demonetisation, prices of yarns and fabric went up. “Only those people survived who had systems (workstations and mills). There was a huge crunch of fabric as most of the weavers were in the bank getting their cash. When things normalised, the prices went up,” he added.

Sunil Sethi, President, Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), the country’s apex fashion body, admitted that sales had slumped due to demonetisation and GST.

Read more…Goa blues: Demonetisation played party-pooper in India’s tourism capital

“I’m hoping that the business is going to be regularised in the near future. Certain amount of discipline has set in for both the customer and designer. However, there is no doubt that the volume of business has gone down, which is not a good sign. Hoping for the market to pick up soon,” Sethi told IANS.

Menswear designer Pawan Sachdeva echoed the sentiment. “The effect of demonetisation has lingered even after a year. The luxury market has faced a major slowdown. Even as the effects of demonetisation hadn’t lessened, GST was introduced as a new policy, slowing the market even more,” he said.

The major problem, according to him, was that cash flow declined sharply, resulting in slashing of up to almost 80 per cent of luxury sales. “This Diwali, the sales were extremely low as compared to previous years. It will take a lot of time for the market to recover at this rate,” Sachdeva said.

IANS

(Note Ban Series)

Sports

India vs Australia: We were ineffective with the ball: Virat Kohli

Kohli with 89 runs and KL Rahul with 76 were India’s highest run scorers and both fell to sharp catches.

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Virat Kohli

Sydney: Indian captain Virat Kohli admitted that the team was ineffective with the ball on Sunday and outplayed by Australia in the second ODI at the Sydney Cricket Ground which they lost by 51 runs.

A second consecutive 62-ball century from Steve Smith helped Australia reach 389/4 and India were restricted to 338/9.

“They have outplayed us. We were ineffective with the ball, and didn’t hit the areas. They have a strong batting line-up, they know the conditions and the angles well,” said Kohli after the match.

Kohli with 89 runs and KL Rahul with 76 were India’s highest run scorers and both fell to sharp catches.

“The chase felt steep, and one or two wickets would have taken the required rate up so we had to keep hitting. They took the chances that they created in the field, which was the difference,” said Kohli.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya bowled four overs and got the wicket of Smith. “Hardik felt okay to bowl. Initially just thought of trying for a couple of overs but he felt good and bowled a couple more. And he gave away a bit of a bowling plan with his off-cutters (smiles), but credit to them, they used the dimensions well. Even Rahul or Shreyas, if they carried on, it could’ve gotten us across the line with Hardik to come,” said Kohli.

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Sports

India fall to 51-run defeat; Australia win series

Rahul and Hardik Pandya then put up 63 for the fifth wicket but both succumbed to the pressure that came with the rising required run rate.

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Steve Smith

Sydney: Australia beat India by 51 runs in the second ODI on Sunday at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). The hosts have thus sealed victory in the three-match series, having taken an unassailable 2-0 lead.

Chasing a mammoth target of 390, India were restricted to 338/9 after another century from Steve Smith took Australia to 389/4 batting first.

India started with a 58-run stand between openers Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan. The pair departed within a few balls of each other after which captain Virat Kohli anchored the middle order. Kohli and Shreyas Iyer steadied the ship for the visitors and just as they were looking to shift gears, the latter fell to Moises Henriques thanks to a stunning catch by Smith at deep midwicket.

Kohli soldiered on with KL Rahul at other end before falling to a brilliant catch, this time by Henriques himself, at midwicket again off Josh Hazlewood. Kohli made 89 off 87 balls, putting up partnerships of 93 with Iyer and 72 with Rahul.

Rahul and Hardik Pandya then put up 63 for the fifth wicket but both succumbed to the pressure that came with the rising required run rate.

Earlier, Smith smashed 104 off 64 balls, reaching three figures in just 62 balls for the second consecutive time in this series. He put up 136 runs with Marnus Labuschagne, which was the second century partnership for Australia in the match after the 142-run opening stand between captain Aaron Finch and David Warner.

Smith finally fell to Pandya, who was handed the ball for the first time since making his comeback from a back injury after which Glenn Maxwell smashed 63 off 29 balls to take Australia within 11 runs of the 400-run mark.

The third and final ODI will be played in Canberra on Wednesday.

Brief scores: Aus 389/4 in 50 overs (Steve Smith 104, David Warner 83; Mohammed Shami 1/73) vs Ind 338/9 in 50 overs (Virat Kohli 89, KL Rahul 76; Pat Cummins 3/67).

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Entertainment

Sonakshi Sinha enjoys a lazy Sunday

The actress had posted a string of pictures on Instagram, and also shared her result of the Open Water Diver Course Final Exam Answer Sheet. The actress scored 100 per cent in the test.

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Sonakshi Sinha

Mumbai: Actress Sonakshi Sinha is in a mood for a lazy Sunday, and said that she just wants to be on the couch all day.

The Bollywood star took to Instagram to share a glimpse from her “lazy” Sunday with a picture in which she is posing on the couch.

“Gonna be on my couch all day today #lazysunday,” Sonakshi wrote with the picture.

In the image, she is seen resting on a blue couch, and channels a casual look in an all-denim avatar, with a white top.

Earlier this week, Sonakshi shared moments from her vacation in the Maldives. She also announced that she is a licensed scuba diver.

The actress had posted a string of pictures on Instagram, and also shared her result of the Open Water Diver Course Final Exam Answer Sheet. The actress scored 100 per cent in the test.

“Knighted by the holy fins! I am now a licensed scuba diver… something i have been wanting to do for years, and finally got down to it! My love for the ocean has just grown ever since my first snorkel experience and this is taking it to a whole new level…” Sonakshi captioned the images.

Sonakshi will next be seen in “Bhuj: The Pride Of India”. The war action film, based on a true story, also stars Ajay Devgn, Sanjay Dutt, Ammy Virk, Nora Fatehi and Sharad Kelkar. It is set during the Indo-Pak war of 1971.

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