A jewellery shop on Circular Road in Ranchi on Thursday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
If you have a fetish for shoes or lust for that slim and sexy laptop, hold your breath — and hold on to your wallet — for at least a month for the shopper-friendly benefits of the 2014-15 Union Budget to peter down to retail markets across Jharkhand.
Dealers of electronic goods, footwear, cosmetics and uncut stones like diamond, emerald or amethyst on Thursday categorically mentioned that customers would have to wait till their existing stocks are exhausted, news stocks procured from manufacturers and pricing fixed. Some even expressed confusion over diamond prices and said this would delay change in market rates.
“We sell products at MRP, which is decided by companies from different parts of the country. After the Budget announcements, they will conduct internal audit, prepare new bills and then send products with fresh price list. This entire procedure is time-consuming,” said Raja Singh, the proprietor of National Electronics in Sakchi, Jamshedpur. “So, for that cheaper LED or LCD television, it will be a month’s patient wait for customers,” he added.
Irfan Ahmed, proprietor of Bharat Electronics on Main Road, Ranchi, agreed. “The trickle-down effect in case of LED and LCD prices can’t be felt before mid-August. The Budget has announced duty rationalisation only for smaller monitors. Not all big companies manufacture them,” he said.
Hitesh Adeshra, a partner at Keshavji Chaganlal Jewellers in Jamshedpur’s Bistupur, said unlike gold ornaments that may see change in rates every hour, diamonds came with not-so-flexible price tags.
“The woman’s best friend comes in many varieties — cut and uncut. While a diamond ring has become expensive after the Budget, uncut varieties of the stone will be cheaper. But, effecting fresh prices after procuring them from suppliers will take a month or so. In case of some precious stones, however, the price change may trickle down to the retail market after a week,” he said.
Vishal Arya, a Tanishq franchisee at GEL Church Complex, Ranchi, lauded rationalisation of customs duty on all forms of diamonds.
“But, at this juncture, there is no clarity whether rates of diamonds will go up or not.
“Earlier, semi-processed, half-cut and broken diamonds were exempted from basic customs duty while cut and polished diamonds and coloured gemstones attracted around two per cent. To prevent misuse and avoid assessment disputes, the basic customs duty on all is being rationalised at 2.5 per cent,” he said, adding that diamonds might become slightly expensive.
Authorised retailer of Havels electrical goods and president of Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Suresh Sonthalia said cutting down customs duty to nil on import of LCD/LED panels within 19 inches and exemption of customs duty on colour picture tubes for televisions would improve the standard of living.
“The finance minister’s proposals will herald good days for the middle class. Though it may take some significant time for the prices to reflect in the actual market, life will be about good living this fiscal,” he added.
Moral of the story?
Women, rush for diamonds! Men, wait a while for the dream cart of gadgets.
What is first on your new shopping list?