Chennai, Oct 25: In line with the 'Make in India' campaign, cracker manufacturers in Tamil Nadu are gearing up to promote the concept of indigenous crackers to fight against illegal import of fireworks from China.
Cracker makers in Tamil Nadu has taken up the issue of illegal imports of crackers from China with the Centre and state government, Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers' Association President S Abiruben told PTI. "Almost 90 per cent of crackers supplied in India were from Sivakasi (Tamil Nadu).
The fireworks industry is about Rs 6,000 crore-strong. We have decided to create more awareness among people to buy Made in India crackers in line with the Prime Minister's Make in India campaign," he said. Almost five lakh families are dependent on this business, he said, adding there has been an impact due to the illegal imports.
"At least 30 per cent of business has already got hit due to invasion of Chinese crackers," he said. Asked how the association planned to address the matter, he said representatives recently met Commerce and Industries Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
"We met her and explained our situation. What we have decided now is that we will be taking up awareness campaign to buy Made in India crackers," he said. "This is in support of Make in India promotion undertaken by the Centre. We hope when we promote such a concept among the people, there will be more purchase of Indian crackers than those that are imported," he said.
Abiruben claimed that compared to Indian crackers, those imported from China were more of "friction sensitive". "When you are transporting Indian crackers, suppose if they fall, there will not be any kind of impact. But the problem with Chinese crackers is that when they fall due to high friction sensitivity, there is a chance of exploding. That is very dangerous," he said.
Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry recently banned illegal import, possession and sale of fireworks of foreign origin. In a notification, DIPP said fireworks in India were declared as restricted item under 'ITC (HS)' in respect of import by Director General of Foreign Trade.
Till date, no licence for import of fireworks has been granted under the Explosives Rules, 2008 by Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion. According to officials, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence seized 285 tonnes of illegal crackers during August-September period.