Banning import and sale of Chinese firecrackers had little or no effect on domestic industry as traders in major 10 cities reported poor business owing to anti-cracker campaigns, an Assocham survey-cum-analysis said.
In its statement, Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) said it surveyed firecracker wholesalers, retailers, traders in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Chennai, Dehradun, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow and Mumbai to gauge the enthusiasm and demand for firecrackers together with the impact of ban on Chinese crackers across India.
“It is not just Chinese firecrackers but multiple factors like growing environmental awareness, rising cost of living, growing tendency amid people to save hard-earned money rather than spoiling it on burning crackers, paucity of time, traffic congestions during festive period and others have together dented this business over the years,” the industry body said.
Most of the traders reported a sharp decline of about 20% sales on year-on-year basis for last five years.
“Banning Chinese firecrackers was a welcome move, which was aimed at strengthening domestic industry. But growing criticism of bursting firecrackers and all the negative publicity together with rising air and noise pollution have faded the growth of firecracker industry,” Assocham secretary general DS Rawat said.
“Hundreds of units in Sivakasi have shut shops owing to intense campaigns and growing sales of China-made crackers over the years. It is estimated that about 30,000 people have lost livelihood.”
There are about 800 licensed firecracker units in Sivakasi where this industry accounts for a market size of about `2,500 crore, he said, adding that Sivakasi was facing heat from Chinese products for last few years. Rise in cost of raw material and overall inflation have also discouraged people from buying firecrackers and this trend has been going on for past few years now, the survey said.