Fireworks manufacturers wary of influx of Chinese crackers
Sivakasi (TN): With less than 10 days to go for Diwali, Tamil Nadu fireworks manufacturers are gearing up for the festival with new varieties of crackers to compete against those made in Chinese as their influx was posing a threat to the Rs 3000-crore domestic industry.
Eight new varieties of crackers have been introduced for the festival which falls on October 22, and the cost ranges from Rs 2150 to Rs 11,350, manufacturers and retailers here said.
Sivanadar, a local retailer, said ‘panorama-500′, which would burst for 500 seconds, would cost Rs 11,350. Bullet train is another variety, he said.
“We have introduced more varieties this year to compete with the Chinese varieties,” he said.
Tamil Nadu Fireworks Manufacturers Association General Secretary Sundar and K.Chitraijothi, an expert and advisor to manufacturers of Indian Crackers, claimed Chinese fireworks might be a cheaper, but are harmful to the environment.
“Our crackers are definitely far better in quality and safety. They can be burst anywhere but Chinese crackers can be burst only by experts in an open ground,” they claimed.
Indian crackers use raw materials like newspapers, cardboards and jute while Chinese ones have chlorates or per-chlorates, they said. Abiruben, President, Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers’ Association (TANFAMA), said Chinese crackers could burst even due to small friction.
Association members said Chinese crackers were sold at a cheaper rate because the cost of potassium chlorate used as raw material was only Rs.50 per kg compared to the aluminium powder in Indian crackers, which is much less harmful but costs Rs 300 a kg.
Sundar said North Indian traders expected the government to give clearance for import of Chinese crackers and had reduced orders from Sivakasi, the country’s fireworks hub. “This had affected our sales to the tune of about Rs 1,000 crore.”
But the Centre has asserted that the possession or sale of fireworks of foreign origin is “illegal and punishable” and has tightened its grip over illegal import of Chinese crackers which are reportedly flooding the market by issuing a public notification warning importers and public of legal consequences.