Leather goods hub at Dharavi struggles to hide cash crunch pain

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Arshad Khan is unsure of how long he can carry on with the low sales at Kohinoor Leather, his retail outlet of leather goods at Dharavi — the largest slum in Asia.

“There has hardly been any sale today. This has been the case since Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes were banned (on November 8),” said Khan. This is unusual for this time of the year. “The December quarter, which coincides with the beginning of winter, is the peak business period for us,” he added. “Leather jackets, in particular, are popular during this period.”

Khan is not the only one to suffer losses following demonetisation. Almost all retailers at the market in north-central Mumbai have a similar story to tell, their faces barely concealing their emotions.

The ban on high-value notes has crippled the leather hub. Business is down by about 70-80 per cent at most, as consumers hold back on purchases. Corporate and retail orders have also dried up at manufacturing units.

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