There has been a 40% drop in sales ahead of Diwali because of a cash crunch and confusion among traders about the Goods and Services Tax, an all-India traders’ body said on Tuesday, according to PTI.

With three days to go for Diwali, “markets across the country are gloomy, having a deserted look with very less festivity and less foot fall of consumers”, the Confederation of All India Traders said.

While fewer people are shopping because of a cash shortage, the traders body said the the GST had added to the slowdown. “Confusion [about the GST] still prevails to a great extent, which is more bothering to traders,” the association said.

On Sunday, the traders’ body had also asked the government to compensate sellers for losses after the Supreme Court refused to modify its earlier order banning the sale of firecrackers in Delhi and the National Capital Region till November 1. They said traders had renewed their licences and already bought stock worth Rs 500 crore before the ban was imposed.