India bans fireworks of foreign make
NEW DELHI (The Statesman/ANN) - The government has banned possession or sale of foreign fireworks in India following complaints of rising pollution.
The festival of Diwali is set to be less fiery in India this year. With Chinese fireworks flooding the markets during the festive season, the government today said possession or sale of firecrackers of foreign origin was illegal and punishable by law.
“Possession and sale of fireworks of foreign origin in India is illegal and punishable under the law. Information about possession or sale of such fireworks may be reported to the nearest police station for suitable action,” the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a statement.
The fireworks market size in India has crossed Rs 6,000-crore mark. Till date, no license for import of fireworks has been granted under the Explosives Rules, 2008.
Fireworks in India have been declared a restricted item in respect of import by the Director General of Foreign Trade. The manufacture, possession, use, sale, etc., of any explosive containing sulphur or sulphurate in admixture with any chlorate is banned in the country.
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) receives a number of complaints regarding clandestine import of fireworks of foreign origin under false declarations.
Various fireworks associations have time and again raised the issue and informed the authorities these smuggled items include the chemical “potassium chlorate” which is a dangerous and hazardous chemical and can ignite or explode spontaneously.
According to a study by the industry umbrella Assocham (Association of Chambers of Commerce), demand for fireworks have waned in the domestic industry by 35 to 40 per cent in the last few years. The domestic industry was facing losses of nearly Rs 1,000 crore largely due to illegal imports of Chinese firworks, high cost of indigenous production, chemcials and dearth of cheap labour because of unchecked migration from villages to the cities, the industry study said. Campaigns by environment lobbies to ensure smoke-free Diwali and stringent safety norms have taken the wind out of the firecracker business. Bulk of the fireworks in the country is manufactured in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu - with Sivakasi town as the hub of production.
(Note Rs 1 crore is Rs 1000,000)
(I USD - Rs 66.45)
- India bans fireworks of foreign make