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Takers few for Modi jackets, say garment traders

Demonetisation and GST blamed for slump in sales
The Prime Minister in a ‘Modi jacket’

PTI   |   Aurangabad   |   Published 12.03.19, 09:46 PM

The popularity of the “Modi jacket”, a rage during the 2014 elections, seems to be on the wane, with orders recording a drastic fall, garments traders in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra said on Tuesday.

The “Modi jacket” is a half-sleeve coat often worn by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A trader in Aurangabad, which used to be a major textiles-producing centre, said there was a time when around 35 such jackets used to be sold from his shop every day. Now the number has plunged to one per week, he added.

Another city businessman, Gurvinder Singh, said factors such as the GST, demonetisation and the drought-like situation in the state had impacted the sale of these jackets, like all other apparels.

Many traders in Gulmandi, Tilak Path, Aurangpura, Sarafa, Osmapura and Cidco echoed similar views.

Cloth merchant Rajedra Bhawsar, who used to keep a stock of “Modi jackets” along with other readymade ethnic wear, said only 10 pieces had been sold in the past year.

“I am facing a problem as the unsold stock is more and I had invested a big amount, but there is no profit,” he said.

Local tailor Dilip Lokhande, popular as Haroon Master, said that with summer around the corner, people were showing more interest in khadi, linen and cotton shirts.

“No one comes to us to get such (Modi) jackets stitched,” he said.

Lokhande said his workers specialising in jacket-making were now stitching more formal dresses.

“We used to charge Rs 200 to Rs 300 for stitching these jackets, based on the style. But now our labourers earn more than that by making formal dresses, so we are also facing problems,” he said.

Jacket specialist Shakeel, who assists Lokhande, recalled an incident from December last year.

“A customer came to us with polyester-cotton mix cloth to get a (Modi) jacket made. But he had to go back as my colleagues told him it would require over 15 days to make as they were busy with the marriage season,” he said.

“Despite next month’s elections, we don’t foresee the jackets regaining their popularity,” Shakeel said. PTI


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