According to Dharmendra Soni, a shoe manufacturer and factory owner in Agra, his business has taken a hit of 75 to 80 percent since the GST was implemented.
"I had to shut down one of my two factories because of the slowdown in business," said Mr Soni. "I used to hire 50 weekly wage workers, now 20 are enough."
Residents of Agra's Kazi Bada, a leather makers' neighbourhood, also complained of far less work compared to last Diwali.
"Earlier we worked six days a week. Now, today is Thursday and it is just the second day I have worked," said a worker in a small leather factory. "We used to earn Rs 300 a day which was enough to cover our family's expenses. Now we don't even know if we'll make Rs 50," he said.
"We're ruined because of the GST," said Mr Kumar. "The owner will only give us work when he gets work himself," he said.
Retailers too are feeling the pinch. Hemant Kumar, a supplier of footwear making machinery, said business for retailers and equipment suppliers has halved.
"The customers are feeling the impact of high prices, there is pressure on manufacturers too because machines, raw material, everything is more expensive," said Mr Kumar.
Get the latest election news, live updates and election schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on ndtv.com/elections. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates from each of the 543 parliamentary seats for the 2019 Indian general elections.