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Budget fails to enthuse Jammu traders hit by slowdown, online portals

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Lack of any impetus for the traders, and retail community has disappointed this huge section in Jammu. Traders allege that slowdown in economy, and onslaught of online companies has also badly affected the business in last few year, and they were expecting major relief from the Modi government to kickstart business. However, the lack of focus on business, and little or no measures to boost spending has ensured another dark year for the retail community whose fortunes depend on spendings by middle classes.

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To counter the online trade, the business community is now demanding taxes, and new checks on online sale of products by websites which many traders in Jammu opine are offering subsidized products after getting money from foreign investors which is skewing the business. The traders allege that while the cost of real estate, rent, and other expenses has increased manifold. Despite offering the winter stock at 50 per cent discount there are not many takers as the inflation is high, and not many buyers are interested to buy even a half the cost. Major impact of the slowdown in the economy is on shopowners, and businessmen who had bought prime shops in newly set up malls in the city. At city square mall a number of shops have folded up, and most of these were owned by locals. The business is also down for shop owners at Wave mall but still company owned anchor stores, and smaller retail counters are holding out there.

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Business owners said that the business was under pressure from online sites, lack of government spending, global slowdown, and lack of winter demand, and lowdown in tourism sector in the state. Also traders allege that online portals are selling in Jammu and Kashmir without paying VAT. and other taxes which have to be paid by local traders, and this has ensured that people buy from them as they have to pay slightly less. The business community is now planning to approach the government to take measures which would end this anomaly.

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