TN firecracker industry jacks up prices

Legal issues related to green crackers being used in the industry, as well as heavy rain were some of the reasons behind escalating the prices.

Traders have predicted that it was possible for the prices to go up to 50 per cent in retail markets across the state.

Manickam, a firecracker trader in Chennai’s Ashok Nagar, told IANS: “The firecracker industry is going through a rough phase. With green crackers being made the norm and even long-chain crackers being banned, the fun is gone. Heavy rain in Tamil Nadu has led to a dip in production leading to the prices being hiked. Compared to last year, the new rates are 20 per cent higher and this will go up and may even touch 50 per cent in the days to come.”

The crackers including Kambi Thiri, Pookutti, and floor chakras require drying and due to the heavy rain, Virudhunagar district, which houses almost all the production houses in Tamil Nadu, was inundated.

The demand as usual is heavy but the supply — another factor that has also led to an increase in the prices.

While speaking to IANS, Muthukumaran, who runs a firecracker unit employing around 100 workers, said: “The industry is facing harrowing times. First, we are fighting legal issues over the green crackers and removing barium nitrate from the cracker industry. Second is heavy rain leading to less production… We have no other option but to increase the prices and the industry as a whole has advocated for this.”

The production has dipped by around 50 per cent as the green cracker norms were implemented and the manufacturing as per the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) is difficult and time-consuming.

Another issue for the price hike is the import cost of raw materials that is plaguing the industry and restrictions in many states on the bursting of crackers.

Mohammed Hassan, a third-generation trader of firecrackers in Chennai’s Arumbagam, told IANS: “We are yet to touch the pre- Covid sale in Tamil Nadu. In 2019, Diwali sale in Chennai alsone was around Rs 125 crore but now it is much less than that. Coupled with the increase in prices by the Sivakasi factories and the green norms, the supply is less, but the demand as usual is more. So it remains to be seen how can we strike a balance and sell crackers without incurring losses to us.”

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by FreshersLIVE.Publisher : IANS-Media

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