As uncertainty continues to hang over the sale and use of firecrackers during Diwali, India’s fireworks industry output has fallen by 60% at Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu, officials said. ‘industry.
Sivakasi in Virudhunagar district of Tamil Nadu accounts for nearly 90% of the country’s firecracker production and has 1,070 firecracker units located in and around the city.
About 300,000 workers are directly employed while another 500,000 workers are in related sectors.
“The demand from North India has declined significantly as there is uncertainty over fireworks sales during Diwali. Additionally, the huge remaining stock from last year at wholesalers and retailers has also an impact on production this year,” said Rajendra Raja, Vice President. , Indian Fireworks Manufacturers Association, told IANS.
“Dealers in seven states have leftover stocks. So demand has gone down. According to market reports, people want to celebrate Diwali with firecrackers and dealers are ready to buy. But the uncertainty about permission to do bursting firecrackers and fear of Covid -19 third wave prevents them from placing orders,” Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Arms Manufacturers Association (TANFAMA) Chairman Ganesan Panjurajan told the IANS.
According to him, industry players produce products that are no less than 30% less polluting compared to their old products.
Even though most of the industry’s output is consumed during Diwali, seasonal demand during the festivals of Holi, Raakhi and Patang, which used to take place there, has declined this time around, officials said. industry at IANS.
The NCR, Punjab, Rajasthan and other parts of northern India are major markets for firecrackers, accounting for as much as 40% of industry sales.
Normally after Diwali the wedding season would start where novelty items would be sold. Then firecracker sales during New Years, mainly hotels being the buyers and Holi will happen.
“The fireworks units have not only reduced their production but also stopped making certain items. The units are not making all the products they used to make,” Raja added.
While sales have fallen, commodity prices have risen by about 30%, he added.
“We are not able to pass on the rising input prices and have therefore decided to absorb it ourselves. We also keep our workers by paying them regular wages even though production has dropped,” Panjurajan said.
The lack of industry demand is due to the order issued last year by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) linking the sale and use of firecrackers during Diwali in the NCR and any other city or town in the country. average ambient air quality. .
The NGT adopted the ordinance on the basis of the “precautionary” principle.
Nowhere in the world has any country banned fireworks during the Covid situation at their festival celebrations, industry officials have said.
According to Raja, sales in Tamil Nadu normally resume around this time, but this did not happen.
Raja said the industry was concerned that the government would categorize them as “hazardous industries” from the current classification of “hazardous industries”.
The firecrackers made at the Sivakasi factories are valued at around Rs 2,500 crore, while retail sales total around Rs 6,000 crore.
The fireworks industry has also been criticized in the past. First, manufacturers were targeted for employing child labour, followed by accusations relating to noise pollution.
According to Panjurajan, the central and state governments are sensitive to our situation and try to help us.
Although it will not be a “boom” Diwali this year, industry officials hope it will not be a disastrous Diwali.
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Posted: Tuesday August 24th 2021, 5:58 PM IST