Set up SEZ for fireworks in view of huge export potential: Minister

PTI Madurai | Updated on October 19, 2013 Published on October 19, 2013

Minister of state for Commerce and Industry E M Sudarasana Natchiappan has suggested setting up a Special Economic Zone for fireworks in view of the huge potential for exports.

He also suggested establishing a fireworks magazine-cum cargo house at V.O.C Port in Tuticorin for obtaining licence from the Petroleum and Safety Organisation. (PSO).

Pointing out that crackers now have to be transported to Mumbai, instead of from Tuticorin, which could accommodate only smaller vessels, Natchiappan said goods exported to Europe had to be transhipped to bigger vessels at Colombo or Singapore. But these vessels were not given No Objection Certificates at these ports.

He recalled that crackers worth Rs 1.5 crore were exported from Mumbai last year, while the market for it is Rs 1500 crore and said if more fireworks were exported from VOC port, India could earn more foreign exchange from the industry.

Official sources said the V.O.C Port had already decided to export fireworks.

Nathchiappan was chairing a meeting here last night, organised by those linked with the fireworks units, including manufacturers, to address problems relating to fireworks units.

The meeting discussed various issues, including exports and improving safety standards and reviving the defunct Fireworks Research and Development Centre at Sivakasi, the hub of the fireworks industry.

S Natarajan, Deputy chairman of VOC port said it was open to export of fireworks. But manufacturers and exporters should negotiate with representatives of shipping lines and secure permission to allow transportation of the crackers, he said.

The Minister asked officials of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research to take over FRDE, set up at a cost of Rs 5.84 crore. The centre, with state-of-the-art equipment worth over Rs two crore, was non-functional due to shortage of scientists.

Industry representatives wanted reclassification of fireworks to enable shipping companies pick up consignments.

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Published on October 19, 2013
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