Fancy Chinese fireworks will not be up for grabs for customers this Diwali as the government for the first time is enforcing guidelines of the Explosives Act, 2008, according to which possession and sale of foreign-made explosives is a punishable act. Most of these fireworks are smuggled into the country through container route.
In order to ensure that such goods do not make way into the Indian market, the government has also seized suspicious containers at various ports. The move is in line with the government’s impetus on the indigenous products also as Chinese fireworks imports had been a threat to the Rs3000 crore domestic fireworks industry.
“Possession and sale of fireworks of foreign origin in India is illegal and punishable under the law. Information about possession and/or sale of such fireworks may be reported to the nearest police station for suitable action,” said the department of industrial policy and promotion.
“This is the first time that the law is being invoked before the Diwali season,” according to a senior commerce ministry official.
The government acted on the plea of various fireworks associations which informed the government smuggled items include the chemical ‘Potassium Chlorate’ which is a dangerous and hazardous chemical and can ignite or explode spontaneously. The Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers’ Association has also informed that illegal fireworks of foreign origin have penetrated into our country in large quantities and they are likely to be sold through retail outlets extensively during coming Diwali season.
The manufacture, possession, use, sale, etc. of any explosive containing sulphur or sulphurate in admixture with any chlorate is banned in the country vide a 1992 notification. Till date, no licence for import of fireworks has been granted under the Explosives Rules, 2008.
The retailers say that it will not impact the market much as the Chinese fireworks are not sold in the organized retail of the crackers and is basically sold by petty sellers in the run up to the festival season.
Vinod Gupta, a Delhi-based retailer said, “We do not keep Chinese crackers as the demand among the regular customers is less. The clientiele prefers safe goods and would not let cost affect the decision at all.”
Sivakasi, the hub of the fireworks manufacturers in the country, the manufacturers are facing the heat. The manufacturers of the area recently met with commerce minister Nirmala Seetharaman pleading to stop the onslaught from China, which has eaten into 25% of their market share. Almost 700 containers are smuggled illegally into the Indian market every year through, Kolkata, and Nepal. Close to 800 units in Sivakasi employ almost three lakh people.
Source : http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-india-bans-chinese-crackers-this-diwali-2022485