For the second time in a row, firecrackers this Diwali will burn a hole in your pocket. Due to shortage of fireworks in the market and the ever-increasing cost of their manufacturing, their prices have gone up by almost 25% in Sadar Bazar, compared to last year when prices were already quite high.
“While last year, we were selling one packet of anar for R125, this year, the price has gone up to R175. Similarly, there is an average increase in price of all other firecrackers as well, especially the popular ones,” said Sanjay Jain, who has obtained a temporary license to sell firecrackers till Diwali.
According to the traders at Asia’s biggest wholesale market, the reason for the price hike is shortage in supply.
“This is for the second year that we are not getting as many firecrackers as we wanted. Last year, it was the Commonwealth Games and the fire in a manufacturing unit that disturbed the supply-demand chain. This year, the supply is short because of the heavy demand during the India-Pakistan Cricket World Cup semi-finals, the Cricket World Cup finals and the Anna Hazare movement,” said Harjeet Singh Chhabra, president, Sadar Nishkam Welfare Association.
According to traders, where last year, R1,000 would have sufficed for fireworks for two children, this year the amount is inadequate.
“The sales are low currently but will pick up next week. Though the supply is low, we are still not stacking up as the costs have gone up and we are not sure if we can afford it,” said Sundar Lal, who also got a special licence to sell firecrackers.
This is not all. According to traders at Sadar Bazar, the cost will go up by anything between 15% and 20% in the coming week. “By Diwali, the prices are bound to go through the roof,” said Chhabra.