The rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the much-touted mega tax reform undertaken by the government, is posing an unexpected hurdle to the availability of the Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 in India. While the company has made Nokia 3 available in offline stores earlier this month, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 that were supposed to hit the Indian market in the first week of July have run into the GST hurdle, leading to a delay in the launch of the phone.
The glitch though is not on part of HMD Global, which is ready with the supply, but due to the stores which are hesitant to stock up the goods considering the initial fluctuations under GST. According to media reports, the launch of the GST could lead to a delay of a few weeks in the launch of Nokia’s new smartphones.
According to the reports, shopkeepers want to keep no stocks in this case as a measure of precaution ahead of the GST launch which will have a direct and immediate impact on them. On its part, HMD Global has assured dealers that they have considered GST while pricing the devices and will stick to the current pricing despite the new taxes.
"The Nokia 6 and the Nokia 5 prices already take into account the GST tax rates. The GST rollout will not affect the prices of the Nokia phone that have been announced so far," said a senior Nokia executive. The Nokia 6 is priced at Rs 14,999 while the Nokia 5 will be sold with a price tag of Rs 12,899.
The hesitation on part of retailers puts the availability of the new phones in limbo as it is tough to peg a specific date when they will be ready to accept stocks. It is only when the GST is launched and the retailers get a good understanding of implications can the devices will be made available to the consumer.
The GST will be launched at an hour-long function in the Central Hall of Parliament at midnight June 30. Ahead of the launch, there has been a horde of sales and offers that retailers are offering in a bid to clear stocks. Pre-GST sales at offline as well as online stores are offering heavy discounts in the last week of this month.