Your attempt at lighting up the skies this Diwali may just leave a bigger dent in your pockets than last year.
With shortage in stock persisting, traders in Sadar Bazar — the biggest wholesale market in Asia — are hiking prices of sparklers and crackers.
“We are not getting as much stock as we wanted. The shortage is from the manufacturers’ side. Popular fireworks such as rockets, chhakri and anar are in high demand but we don’t have enough stock,” said Harjeet Singh Chhabra, who has taken a temporary licence to sell fireworks for 15 days.
“It seems like too many of these were used during the Games,” he added lightly.
Another reason why traders could not stock up for the festive season beforehand was traffic restrictions that did not allow commercial vehicles to enter the city in the day, during the period when the Games were on.
“Many manufacturers and suppliers did not provide us with any stock at all during the Games, as they did not want to take any chance with the police confiscating their goods,” said a trader in Sadar Bazar who did not want to be named.
“We are getting stocks at a higher rate because of high demand. But our profit margin is almost the same as last year,” he added.
Himani Srivastava, whose family owns one of the oldest fireworks shops in the market, is also feeling the pinch.
“We are not even getting 30% of what we had ordered. Therefore, we are selling popular fireworks at a higher price this time,” she said.
The shortage is being experienced in good quality fire works too. “We have brought in new brands to meet the demand but we don’t know how good they actually are. We are waiting for customer’s response,” Srivastava added.
Compared to last year, there are fewer licensed sellers this time around.
According to the Sadar Bazar Traders’ Association, around 80 licences were given out last year. This year, though, the number has gone down to 60.