Kerala candle industry in crisis
The candle manufacturing industry, which supplies candles to thousands of Churches in the state, is facing crisis.india Updated: May 24, 2006 16:25 IST
The candle manufacturing industry, which supplies candles to thousands of Churches in the state, is facing crisis with the prices of petroleum and its bye-products rising, said the Kerala Candle Manufacturer's Association on Wednesday.
About two lakh workers mostly women were directly employed in about 5000 manufacturing units in the State to cater to the churches and the Christian families, which frequently use candles for prayers.
Association President CR Salimkumar said the prices of paraffin wax had gone up by Rs 20,000 per tonne in the last six months, as the result of hike in petroleum price, which led the industry into a near-halt.
Association Secretary KR Dasan said the State needed about 20,000 tonnes of paraffin wax as raw material an year with more candle manufacturing units being set up under the self-help groups of Kudumbasree and khadi industry.
Urging the Centre and the State to help the cottage industry from its present crisis, he said the rising prices of the raw material had forced them to hike the prices of candles.
The association said the customs duty of 34 per cent on the imported wax and 16 per cent of excise duty on the wax produced by the Chennai Refineries was another reason contributing to the crisis.