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Diwali: Most States yet to give nod for setting up outlets to sell fireworks

TE Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on October 05, 2020 Published on October 05, 2020

Due to Covid-19 outbreak paperwork is delayed and Sivakasi, the production hub for crackers, ₹750 cr stocks piled up

With Diwali just a month away, fireworks worth nearly ₹750 crore are still lying at Sivakasi, the hub for cracker manufacturing, as most of the states delayed giving permission to install temporary stalls to retail crackers. Usually, by now, the crackers should have been stocked with large distributors across India.

Every year, the states give the nod by June to enable manufacturers to send crackers to large distributors across India by August. However, this year, the permissions got delayed by a month or two due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh — two major markets for crackers — have not yet issued licenses to install temporary stalls. “We expect the permission to come this week,” said P Ganesan, Director, Sony Fireworks and President of the Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers Association (TANFAMA).

In fact, due to the delay, TANFAMA last month wrote to all the State Chief Ministers to intervene and give the permissions quickly. Most of the states, including Andhra Pradesh, responded immediately, said Ganesan.

Usually, by August, the notifications are published by District Collectors for the renewal of permanent or application for a temporary license. With that notification, all the fireworks shop owners will submit their application for temporary license and renewal of their permanent license. This will be collected and processed by government authorities and approval of license will be done, said Ganesan.

Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh are one of the largest markets for fireworks. The uncertainty in the approvals has kept the manufacturers tense, he said.

Across India, nearly 5,000 permanent stalls are put up with storage facilities for crackers. They also act as distributors. There are lakhs of temporary stalls that are installed just a few days before Diwali and sell retail crackers. “The industry depends heavily on these temporary stalls to boost sales every year,” he said.

Ganesan is hopeful that the entire stock for Diwali will be moved in the next couple of weeks. The small town of Sivakasi manufactures fireworks valued at over ₹3,000 crore. The 1,070 units employ nearly 3 lakh employees directly, and 5 lakh indirectly.

This year, due to the Covid pandemic manufacturers had to close down their units for 43 days due to the lockdown.

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Published on October 05, 2020
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