Economy

‘Chinese Holi products hit small units in North India’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on March 22, 2013

As the Holi spirit sweeps across markets in North India, Chinese coloured powder (gulal), perfumed sprays and squirt guns (pichkaaris) are ruling the roost, But, there is one section of the population that’s in a state of gloom – small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Small colour manufacturers and shopkeepers in Allahabad, Agra, Hathras, Mathura, Vrindavan, Delhi-NCR, Kanpur, Lucknow, Varanasi, and Patna said lakhs of people had lost their jobs after Chinese products flooded the market, says a survey of 1,000 SMEs in North India, conducted by industry chamber, ASSOCHAM, in January.

“A sharp decline in SME units is forcing widespread job losses (full-time and part-time) in the sector estimated to be over 8-10 lakh, says the survey.

D.S Rawat, Secretary General, Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said these items could be easily manufactured here, and called for restrictions on imports from China.

“Nearly 1,000 SMES units have closed so far in the last two-three years, after the rise in imports from China,” he added.

A local manufacturer said he had sold only 12 per cent of the total produced sprinklers.

A wholesaler or plastic toys and sprinklers said he had sold almost all Chinese products, while local products still remained in stock. Last year, the ratio of sale of Chinese and Indian sprinklers was 80:20, this year this ratio has changed to 95:5, says the survey.

Growing at a compounded annual growth rate of about 20 per cent, the Holi colour and accessories industry is likely to reach Rs 15,000 crore this year, ASSOCHAM said.

“Chinese sprinklers are comparatively expensive but are available in different prices ranging from Rs 10 to Rs 1,000, and fit the budget of people from all economic backgrounds”, said some retailers. The local plastic sprinklers were priced from Rs 5 to Rs 50, but urban people prefer Chinese products so retailers were forced to sell local products in villages, the survey said.

Retailers, however, admitted that Indian products lose out on innovation. Chinese sprinklers have more variety, such as replicas of soft drink bottles to funny goggles, elephants, cartoon characters, flute, watch, mobile phone, they added.

aditi.n@thehindu.co.in

Published on March 22, 2013

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