Fireworks industry seeks curbs on imported crackers

28th September 2014

Courtesy: The Hindu

Fireworks industry seeks curbs on imported crackers

This Deepavali, firecrackers may be available for the same price as last year. And, it may not be a positive development. Industry sources complain that this trend, the result of the influx of Chinese crackers, has affected local manufacturers who have been forced to slash their prices. Also, they allege that many of the crackers are of questionable quality.

Members of the Tamil Nadu Fireworks Industry and Workers Protective Organisation claim that nearly 25 per cent of firecrackers sold are imported Chinese crackers of substandard quality. They cost at least 10 per cent less as they are made using banned chemicals such as chlorate and perchlorate, industry sources allege.

The organisation’s president N. Raasa said the number of orders ahead of the festival has dropped by about 50 per cent.

“A few dealers are waiting to flood the market with illegally imported Chinese crackers.

The government must take measures to curb such poor quality crackers,” he said. The imported crackers may affect over five lakh workers who are directly and indirectly employed in over 840 firecracker units.

Pointing out that containers consisting of illegally-imported crackers worth Rs.100 crore were seized over the past one year, members said the seized goods must not be provided for re-tender or sales.

They also demanded that the government provide temporary licences to set up firecracker shops a fortnight ahead of the festival.

Besides Chennai traders, who are preparing to set up stalls in Island Grounds, merchants from Sivakasi plan to set up about 70 shops in areas including Koyambedu, Royapettah and Kottivakkam.

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