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Not a cracker of a Diwali for them

Not a cracker of a Diwali for them

THIS year, Diwali will bring no smile to hundreds of wholesalers and retailers of firecrackers who eagerly look forward to the festival of lights which brought them a little more earning - and happiness too. Instead, they are staring at huge losses.

From Tamil Nadu alone, which is a major source of firecrackers, Odisha buyers procure over Rs 50 crore worth of goods. Needless to say, the ban on sale and use of firecrackers by the Government came as a huge shock. Had the decision been taken earlier, most feel, they could have been spared the losses because orders have already been placed. Usually, wholesalers and retailers purchase firecrackers every year from Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu and this year too they had made the payments along with 18 per cent GST to the manufacturers.

Jatni’s Sajan Kumar Prasad along with four others are permanent licence holders in the area for firecrackers sale and they run the business throughout the year. “Due to the pandemic, marriage processions have been prohibited and we were expecting some business during Diwali. Some of us had already placed orders in Sivakasi,” he added. Jatni plays hub for the firecracker sale.

About 70 to 80 retailers in Jatni purchase firecrackers from wholesalers and set up makeshift shops at spaces allotted by the local authorities. Retailers from Khurda, Bhubaneswar, Nayagarh, Puri, and other places buy crackers from the sellers in the area during Diwali. “On an average, I do a business in the range of Rs 30 lakh-Rs 40 lakh during Diwali every year. The entire business of sellers in Jatni area during Diwali is over Rs 2 crore,” said Prasad ruing the fact that it is gone this time.

Apart from the sellers, local licensed manufacturers of firecrackers in Lekhanpur, Tigiria, Padmapur are also facing the brunt of the ban. Trilochan Patnaik, a firecracker retailer in Jatni market, makes around Rs 30 lakh to Rs 35 lakh every year during Diwali from the temporary business he runs with his relatives. He placed an order of 160 boxes of firecrackers from Sivakasi. “The order this year was less as compared to previous years due to the pandemic but Government’s ban has crushed our hopes of doing our seasonal business,” Patnaik added.

Those who had placed orders from Sivakasi said many consignments are en route and they will request the manufactures to take them back as the unused crackers get damaged in a year.At Cuttack, retailers started procuring firecrackers after receiving a go ahead from the police. Besides, the administration had informed that there would be no ban on sale of crackers in the city, said Loknath Lenka, a retailer.

TN manufacturers submt memo
The Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers’ Association has submitted a memorandum to Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik requesting him to reconsider his decision on ban on sale of firecrackers as about 3 lakh people are directly engaged and 5 lakh indirectly involved in production of crackers. Association president, Ganeshan Panjuraan, told TNIE that every year during Diwali, buyers in Odisha purchase firecrackers to the tune of Rs 50 crore to Rs 60 crore during Diwali.


Rs 50 cr worth of crackers procured from Tamil Nadu by Odisha buyers

On an average, a wholesaler does business of Rs 30 lakh to Rs 40 lakh during Diwali

Business of traders in Jatni area alone during the festival is over Rs 2 crore.

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