Covid impact: Stationery industry in Gujarat incurs biz loss of over Rs 800 crore

By: |
August 26, 2020 5:15 AM

Stationery industry is banking upon three seasons including beginning of new financial year (March-April), opening of new academic year (June-July) and Diwali festivities, said Naresh Shah, president of Gujarat Booksellers & Stationery Association (GBSA).

During 2020, two seasons had failed due to coronavirus pandemic and online education system. During 2020, two seasons had failed due to coronavirus pandemic and online education system.

The Covid pandemic, coupled with rapid digitisation of educational system, has impacted stationery industry in Gujarat adversely as it incurred around Rs 800 crore business loss of over the past five months.

Stationery industry is banking upon three seasons including beginning of new financial year (March-April), opening of new academic year (June-July) and Diwali festivities, said Naresh Shah, president of Gujarat Booksellers & Stationery Association (GBSA).

“During 2020, two seasons had failed due to coronavirus pandemic and online education system. Schools have not yet opened and demand from commercial establishments too are not picking up despite unlocking process in most parts of the country. We are not much hopeful about ensuing Diwali festivities also as cases of Covid-19 are still increasing”, he added

According to Shah, there are around 550 manufacturing units of stationery materials and over 12,000 retail stationery shops.

Nearly 1 lakh people directly depending upon the industry are affected adversely in wake of dwindling business. There would be over Rs 800 crore business loss to the stationery industry in Gujarat since the implementation of first lockdown during the last week of March 2020, he added.

If offset printing business, which is heavily depending upon stationery industry, is also taken into account, overall business loss would scale up to more than Rs 12,00 crore.

More than one lakh people are employed in printing industry and they too are facing acute financial crisis, Shah said.

He added that the state and central government should bail out stationery industry by offering reliefs in taxes. Instantly, the industry should get relief in Goods and Service Tax (GST). Already, GBSA has demanded putting all stationery items in 5% bracket instead of 12% and 18% slabs.

The new education policy is expected to be implemented from next academic year. In the new policy, emphasis is given on digital education. Most of the stationery manufacturers believe that due to implementation of new education policy, their business would go down by at least 20%.

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