New Delhi: As India waits for the Union budget that will be presented in the Lok Sabha on 6 July, small and medium-scale retailers and traders are hoping for a boost.
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Inflation worries, recession in the West and a slowdown in the Indian economy are the three ghosts haunting the Indian consumer. And as the consumer refuses to loosen their purse strings, small and medium-scale retailers have taken a beating.
As part of our ‘aam aadmi’ budget series, Mint stepped into the markets to find out what the small retailer wants from the budget this time.
Most traders Mint spoke to wanted the value added tax or VAT and the sales tax to be reduced if not abolished. “These taxes directly go from the pocket of the consumer and not the retailer or manufacturer. People are not willing to pay taxes”, said a gift shop owner.
A pet food retailer said even though he was happy with the sector being given an industry status, there is a need to reduce the import duty. Import duty on such goods was reduced in the last budget, but prices have gone up due to the exchange rate and the market conditions. Thus there is a need to further bring down import duty.
Grocery and fresh fruits and vegetables traders want the government to take special care of the farmer by reducing the agricultural input costs like fertilizers and logistics, which at present are high, leaving too little in hand. They feel if the fuel prices are brought down, prices of fruits and vegetables will also come down, making life easier for the common man.
High diesel and petrol prices emerged as the ‘common man’s burden’ with most traders wanting a further reduction in the fuel prices since these directly impact the MRP of products sold in the market in the form of logistics costs.
As the countdown to the budget begins, the ‘aam aadmi’ looking for positive signs is still vary of the future, hoping that budget 2009 will give them that reassurance.