Kolkata: The combined impact of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and a general slowdown in the economy has hit sponsorships for Durga Puja this year, organisers reportedly said.
“This year, due to slowdown in the economy there was pressure in getting sponsors and advertisers. Moreover, corporate sponsors are deducting 18 per cent GST, resulting in a huge blow to our budgets,” an official of the puja committee of Ballygunj Cultural Association, reportedly told.
Prior to the roll-out of GST, puja sponsorships were out of the tax ambit (value-added tax), the official said. Another official of Hindustan Park Durga Puja, Sutapa Das, said, “We do not know what the reason is but advertisers were not forthcoming this season. Perhaps GST and slowdown (economic) are to blame.”
Jaygobind Indoria, a member of the Md. Ali Park Durga Puja committee, said, there has been an impact on advertisement tariffs this year. Close to 3,000 small and medium puja committees are organising Durga Pujas this year.
Meanwhile, small retailers of garments said sales have been lower by at least 15-20 per cent during this festive season, as GST resulted in higher cost of procurement. There is some lack of clarity about the new taxation system, too, they said.