There are over 100 units in the industry, where about 1,000 people work. The collective annual turnover of the cluster is over Rs. 10 crore.
“Meerut is a big cluster for making carrom boards for the past many years, which has been steadily growing. We export our products to various countries like USA, England and South Arabia ,” says Sunil Sharma, General Secretary, All India Sports Goods Manufacturers Federation.
“The government imposed VAT at the rate of 14% on the purchase of plywood during the last quarter of the year 2012. Earlier, VAT was imposed at the rate of just 5%. This increase in the VAT rate has caused major problems for the manufacturers,” he says.
“The higher VAT rate has increased the cost price of our products, but we have had to sell our products at the prices we had already committed to sell for. We have not been able to increase the prices of the products for which we had already taken orders. This has caused us significant losses, ” says Rajat Kumar, one of the manufacturers.
“Even the price of thinner has increased from Rs. 20 to Rs. 50. The prices of polythene and polish have also increased from Rs. 102 and Rs. 60 to Rs. 130 and Rs. 200 respectively. This has reduced our purchasing power,” says Sharma
“The carrom boards whose prices ranged between Rs. 95 and Rs.2,100 last year are now being sold at prices ranging from Rs. 120 to Rs. 3,000,” says Sharma.
“Many clients have refused to pay the increased prices for carrom boards. We are not in a position to increase prices, and have to bear losses,” says Kumar.