LUCKNOW: Confusion prevailed over GST among consumers as well as traders on day one of the implementation of new tax regime with a marked decrease in footfall at market places, malls and grocery shops which otherwise would have been full to the brim on weekends.
Traders were divided over the issue as major cloth merchants, particularly those dealing in chikan, quintessential of Lucknow, kept the shutters down throughout the day across the state capital. At some places, traders took out protest march. A section of jewellers also remained closed for the day due to lack of clarity over the new tax system.
Shopkeepers were found unprepared for the new regime. Many of them had not installed the software required for billing leading to face-off with the customers at some places. People avoided shopping on day one and waited for more clarity over the issue.
On food joints, eateries and restaurants, GST had a positive effect as the tax structure of AC restaurants and bar decreased from 20.5-22 per cent to 18 per cent. The owners, as a result, sounded pretty upbeat hoping that the customers would be happy and the business would look up under GST with just two tax heads of 9 per cent each on the bill. In general, there was no impact on the footfall at food joints and restaurants on the weekend. Some confusion prevailed among restaurant owners as they were busy working out the difference between their input cost (purchase of material) and the revenue under GST, which, they claimed, would be cleared in a week’s time.
Many sweetshop owners were seen explaining why retail selling of sweets was taxable even if there was no GST impact on milk products.
However, people had a tough time at medicine shops which went out of stock again due to confusion. The customers were returned by the chemists saying that they were busy upgrading the system and that medicine would be available after 9 pm.
There were also some who thought that as of now only announcement of GST has been made and the tax would be applicable after sometime.