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DIPP bans illegal import and sale of fireworks of foreign origin

The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry has banned illegal import, possession and sale of fireworks of foreign origin. The development comes as a breather for the fire cracking industry in Sivakasi which has been raising concerns over the illegal imports of fire crackers from China into the country.

Nirmala Seetharaman, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry today tweeted saying DIPP banned illegal import, possession and sale of fireworks of foreign origin.

DIPP today said that Fireworks in India have been declared as restricted item under ITC (HS) in respect of import by Director General of Foreign Trade. The manufacture, possession, use, sale, etc. of any explosive containing sulphur or sulphurate in admixture with any chlorate is banned in the country vide Notification GSR No.64 (E) dated 27.1.1992. Till date, no licence for import of fireworks has been granted under the Explosives Rules, 2008 by Petroleum & Explosives Safety Organisation, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry.

It has been brought to the notice of the Government that fireworks of foreign origin are being illegally brought into India under false declarations. Various Fireworks Associations have informed that these smuggled items include the chemical ‘Potassium Chlorate’ which is a dangerous and hazardous chemical and can ignite or explode spontaneously.

The Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers’ Association (TANFAMA) has also informed that illegal fireworks of foreign origin have penetrated into India in large quantities and they are likely to be sold through retail outlets extensively during coming Diwali season.

“In view of the above, General Public/ Stakeholders are requested that information about possession and/or sale of such fireworks may be reported to the nearest Police Station or District Authorities for suitable action,” said DIPP.

The Sivakasi industry is estimated to be Rs 3,500 crore, said that 30 per cent of the manufactured crackers were not sold since Chinese crackers were flooded the North Indian markets.

K Mariappan, vice president, Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces, earlier said, last year around 500 containers with full load of firecrackers were imported, estimated to be valued at Rs 300 crore and this year “we have got information that orders were placed and import is expected to double.” Most of these are aerial firecrackers.

“Chinese firecrackers are cheaper than ours because of the cheaper raw material, but are very hazardous and dangerous,” he said.

Around 300,000 people are engaged in making fire cracker products in and around Sivakasi, which caters to 80 per cent of India’s needs.

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