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Crop failure in north India rattles Sivakasi cracker manufacturers

3rd May 2015

- The Times of India

Crop failure in north India rattles Sivakasi cracker manufacturers

SIVAKASI: Unexpected rainfall resulting in crop failure in several parts of north India has given a scare to firework manufacturers at Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu. They fear that the orders will further slump, affecting the already ailing industry.

The Rs 2,000-crore industry in this small town in Virudhunagar district has been witnessing a steady decline in the last three years with 150 of the 800 fireworks units turning sick and 40 being shut down.

Nearly 100 units are up for sale, but there are hardly any prospective buyers since the economy of the town has seen a recessionary trend in the last three years, according to industry sources.

"We are scared of the crop failure in north India because north is a significant market for us. Most of the players have piled up stocks but dealers from north are yet to appear," said A Mariappan, former vice-president of the Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers Association (TANFAMA).

V Ragavan of Nayagi Fireworks, one of the big players at Sivakasi, said good harvests and handsome economic situation in northern states were key for the health of the fireworks industry at Sivakasi.

"Not many months are left for Diwali, but dealers havent yet come. It is going to be difficult year for both small and big players this year. We hope that at least Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh markets will be better this year," he said.

The downfall will affect more than 1.5 lakh direct employees and 1.75 lakh others, who work either in auxiliary industries or with service providers.

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