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TN Chief Minister Stalin urges counterparts to reconsider blanket ban on sale of firecrackers

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on October 15, 2021

The firecracker industry, concentrated around the town of Sivakasi, is one of the most important industrial activities in the State

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Friday urged his counterparts of four States – Delhi, Odisha, Rajasthan and Haryana – to reconsider the blanket ban on sale of firecrackers and permit sales that fall within the norms set by the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal in their respective States.

The Covid-19 pandemic had a crippling effect on the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector in the country. The impact on Tamil Nadu’s economy, largely dependent on the MSME sector for growth and employment, has been significantly severe.

Reviving MSMEs

The State government is now in the process of reviving the sector through focused interventions. The firecracker industry, concentrated around the town of Sivakasi, is one of the most important industrial activities in the State. Around 8 lakh workers depend on the State’s firecracker industry for their livelihood, which is the largest in India.

“It has been brought to my notice that your government has imposed a ban on the sale of firecrackers during this festival season (Diwali-2021). I understand that you have taken this decision based on concerns regarding air pollution. I wish to draw your attention to the fact that the Supreme Court has already banned certain categories of polluting firecrackers and now, green crackers with significantly less emissions are being manufactured. Therefore, a blanket ban on firecrackers is not reasonable,” Stalin said in a letter to the four chief ministers.

“Such a ban is not prevalent in other countries. Moreover, such a ban, if imposed by other States also would lead to the closure of the entire industry, jeopardising the livelihood of around 8 lakh persons. Bursting of firecrackers is an integral part of Indian festivals, especially Diwali. A balanced approach that gives due regard to environment, livelihood and public health is possible and necessary,” he said.

“I sincerely urge you to kindly reconsider the blanket ban on sale of firecrackers and request that the sale of firecrackers that falls within the norms set by the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal may be permitted in your state,” Stalin said.

Published on October 15, 2021

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