Ban or no ban, spark goes missing from cracker sales
Ban on import and sale of Chinese crackers has had little or no effect on domestically-made ones as traders across major cities report poor business owing to anti-cracker campaign run by schools, resident welfare associations and others, Assocham said today.
Lucknow: Ban on import and sale of Chinese crackers has had little or no effect on domestically-made ones as traders across major cities report poor business owing to anti-cracker campaign run by schools, resident welfare associations and others, Assocham said today.
It is not just Chinese crackers, but multiple factors like growing environmental awareness, rising cost of living, growing tendency to save hard-earned money, paucity of time and traffic congestions have dented the business over the years. This is what a majority of the 250 traders surveyed said.
There is a sharp sales decline of about 20 per cent year-on-year from the past five years, which have also almost halved.
"Banning Chinese firecrackers was a welcome move which was aimed at strengthening the domestic industry. However, growing criticism of bursting crackers and the negative publicity along with rising pollution have eventually faded the growth of firecracker industry," said D S Rawat, Assocham Secretary General, while releasing the findings.
"About hundreds of units in Sivakasi have shut their shop owing to intense campaigns and growing sales of China-made crackers over the years."
Costlier raw materials and inflation have also held back people from buying crackers, a trend for the past few years now, noted the survey. However, many traders nurse hope that last-minute purchase could save the day for them.
The industry body interacted with wholesalers, retailers and traders spread across 10 cities of Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Chennai, Dehradun, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow and Mumbai to gauge enthusiasm and demand for crackers together with the ban impact across India.
Eight people, including six women, died of suffocation as result of excess fumes in a firecracker mishap at the fireworks hub of Sivakasi.
The mishap, which occurred when a fire broke out while crackers were being offloaded from a vehicle to a shop, comes days ahead of Diwali festival when fireworks units in the district are abuzz with activity
DMK president M Karunanidhi today expressed grief over the loss of lives in a devastating fire at Sivakasi in Virudhunagar district.