Diwali lights get dimmed in Gujarat, thanks to demonetisation and GST

Photo Credit: TOI, Ahmedabad

-Abdul Hafiz Lakhani

Deepawali – the festival of lights is in dark as GST Is taking heavy toll of Small traders, businessmen and common men in Gujarat. Diwali is one of the most important festivals of Gujarat. While the rest of the country observes Diwali for two to five days, in Gujarat the celebrations go up to nearly a week. Every other state has holidays either on the main day of Diwali or maybe a day after or before Diwali, but in Gujarat, it is five days of holidays with extensive festivities and celebrations but this time, market slowdown has affected the mood of Gujarati people. This year, Diwali will be celebrated on 19th october, and next day will be new Hindu year.

“This is the worst Diwali of my career, since 1973. Even in the aftermath of 2002 riots, the sales were good,” says Mukesh Sheth, a leading trader at Ratan Pol, the traditional textile market of the city.

“If we ask a fellow trader about how his business is doing, we are just touching a raw nerve. Earlier, we would not have this time to interact with you. But now, most of the retail traders are sitting idle,” he adds.

Sheth is not an exception. Most traders in the market have the same story to tell.

Businessmen say that liquidity crisis induced by demonetisation nearly a year ago and GST that was rolled out on July 1 have robbed the small businesses, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, as well as consumers. The shortage of cash has also cut the demands from rural buyers. “There is about 70 per cent drop in consumers from villages in Saurashtra,” Sheth says.

Sheth is not an exception. Most traders in the market have the same story to tell.

Gaurang Bhagat, president of the Maskati Kapad Mahajan, which represents close to 50,000 textile and garment traders in the city, says: “Before demonetisation, the cash flow was intact. Now, the cycle has been broken. Consumers have become very measured and business is becoming increasingly unviable. Those who have taken loans are finding payment of installments very difficult. Businessmen, especially in the textile sector, were not given enough time to adapt to the new system.”

Pathik Shah, secretary of the Shree Choksi Mahajan at Manek Chowk, the traditional bullion, gold, and jewellery market in Ahmedabad, says that GST has not directly affected gems and jewellry sector but the slowdown it has caused in other sectors is reflected in the demand for gold.

Sales this year have dropped by 30-35 per cent, compared to last year, says Shah. Normally, sales for the marriage season begin in Navratri, soon after the Shraadh period. But this year, the situation is different.

It was only on Pushyanakshatra, on last  Friday, that markets came out of the gloom. Even then, sales were lower as compared to last year. Now, all hopes are pinned on Dhanteras, which falls on Tuesday. There are fears that even the upcoming marriage season may not be up to the mark.

Sunil Motwani, president of the Relief Road Electronics Market, says that in addition to other factors, the sector is also hurt by discounted sales on e-commerce market places and organised retailers, who can buy at discounted price, a bargain not possible for small shop keepers. Sales at traditional shops have dropped by nearly 70 per cent.

(Abdul Hafiz Lakhani is a senior journalist based in Ahmedabad. He is Editor of Gujarat Siyasat.)

Liked it? Take a second to support Abdul Hafiz Lakhani on Patreon!


  1. My partner and I certainly like your website and find a majority of the content to be just what I am looking for. Do you offer people to post content for you? I wouldn’t mind composing a story on sports sites or on a few of the subjects you’re writing about on this page. Cool place!

  2. Thank you so much for this terrific content! I truly enjoyed reading it.I’ll make certain to save your blog and will come back in the future. I would love to encourage that you keep on with your nice posts, even talk about custom house plans as well, have a superb afternoon!

  3. Are you tired of your ac repair in Dubai? Are you looking for Certified Professionals to carry out your ac repair with improved facilities and in an expert way?. Hot and humid conditions are not easy to tolerate, especially when you are not used to them. But, thanks to the air conditioners – living in such extreme settings can also become a pleasant experience, and more so if you are in Dubai.

  4. I was talking to a friend of mine on this article and also about microsoft excel formulas as well. I feel you made some very good points in this article, we are excited to find out more stuff from you.

  5. Admiring the commitment you put into the website and in-depth info you offer. It really is good to come across a site from time to time that isn’t the similar outdated re-written material. Amazing read! We have bookmarked your site and I am adding the RSS feeds to my own bitcoin exchange rate webpage.

  6. My spouse and I unquestionably enjoy your site and find the vast majority of the articles to be exactly what I am seeking. Do you offer guest writers to write content material for you? I would not mind composing a story relating to mounting systems or perhaps on a lot of the topics you’re posting about on this website. Again, awesome blog!

  7. Admiring the time and energy you put into the website and thorough information you display. It really is good to find a blogging site once in a while which is not the same old re-written material. Excellent read! We have bookmarked your blog and I am including the RSS feeds to our HDTV tuners web page.

  8. My friends and I certainly adore your site and find a lot of the posts to be precisely what I am in need of. Would you offer people to post material for you? I wouldn’t mind producing an article relating to house designs or perhaps on many of the subjects you’re writing about on this site. Nice website!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.