Match units make case for export incentive

R Yegya Narayanan Coimbatore | Updated on January 24, 2018

The South India Match Manufacturers’ Association (SIMMA), Kovilpatti, has requested the Centre to provide export incentives to the match industry in view of stiff competition posed by Pakistan in international markets.

It also wants the safety matches industry to be exempted from excise duty in view of the difficulties faced in its collection or levy it only on fully mechanised units.

In a memorandum submitted to Giriraj Singh, Minister of State, MSME, Government of India, during his recent visit here, the secretary of SIMMA J Devadoss pointed out that the export of matches from India had taken a hit in the past six or seven months because of increasing competition in the international markets.

He said at present, 1 US dollar was equivalent to 100 Pakistani rupees and the incentive offered to the industry there was nearly 25 per cent. This enabled the Pakistani match manufacturers to offer stiff competition to Indian exporters. Moreover, in India, production of matches was in excess of consumption and the industry was in dire need of export opportunities. He felt that if the exporters were provided with at least 6 per cent incentive, it would give a boost to the industry.

He suggested that the government should permit import of popular timber with bark so that the timber did not become dry and would facilitate making splints for matches. This would also help the industry not to starve for raw materials and enable it meet the specification of importers who want splints that are not easily breakable. Permission to import timber would also lead to softening of rate of splints.

Devadoss pointed out that the match industry played a crucial role in shoring up the rural economy, particularly in the drought prone areas of Virudhunagar, Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli and Gudiyatham and nearly 90 per cent of those employed were women. As they have achieved commendable levels of productivity and technological advancement, they should be allowed to function without further push towards modernisation. He also urged the minister to exempt the match industry from excise duty in view of the difficulties in enforcing it and if needed, it may be limited to the fully mechanised units (where filling up of match boxes was done mechanically).

Published on June 07, 2015

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