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Sivakasi manufacturers enjoy a good Diwali

17th November 2015

- The Times of India

Sivakasi manufacturers enjoy a good Diwali, wants to focus on exports

TRICHY: In Sivakasi, the fireworks manufacturing hub of the country, things have quietened down for now after the bustle of Diwali. The manufacturers, who are happy with the returns this season as the central governments intervention kept the presence of Chinese fireworks at a minimum, are already predicting consistent growth in the coming year.

President of Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers Association, G Abiruban said the north Indian market had been good and the central governments stern action had kept Chinese fireworks at bay. During the previous season, the industry suffered a loss of nearly Rs1,000 crore due to smuggling of Chinese fireworks, predominantly to the north Indian market.

In Tamil Nadu too, the state government issued licences in time to open the retail shops. However, incessant rain in the state, especially in Chennai, dampened the sales. Not even half of the usual volume could be sold due to the rain, he said. "The trend in north India was promising, though we suffered a setback in Tamil Nadu due to the rain," he said.

President of The Indian Fireworks Manufacturers Association, T Kannan also felt the same. The prices of fireworks were reasonable when compared to last year. "Other than a few incidents where Chinese fireworks were caught in the North, the turnover was handsome this Diwali. This will steady the industry and we anticipate consistent business during next Diwali as well," he said.

Like in this season, fireworks makers will come out with creative ideas for the next Diwali as well, industrial sources said. The industry is also working on research and development of eco-friendly, less-polluting fireworks.

Meanwhile, the manufacturers this year will push harder for the promotion of export of fireworks. Due to the restrictions at ports since fireworks are classified as hazardous cargo, exports from Sivakasi is nearly zero in spite of huge potential in European and South Eastern countries. "We will approach the central government with the proposal of turning Tuticorin into a hub for handling firework exports and we are already working in this regard," said Abiruban.

Once exports are made possible, the industry turnover of Rs6,000 crore per annum could be doubled, according to manufacturers.

However, above all, the industry is hoping for an accident-free season. Nearly half a dozen workers die every year in accidents at fireworks units. With the level of mechanization increasing in the industry, the accidents will gradually come down, sources said.

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