- When Diwali got nearer, the central government suddenly remembered the rules banning imported crackers on the grounds that they don’t meet standards due to a high potassium chlorate.
- This is a good news if Indians use only India-made crackers from Sivakasi (Tamil Nadu). However some shopkeepers are selling smuggled Chinese made crackers under ‘Made in India’ brand.
- After China, India is the second largest producer of firecrackers, which is a Rs 3,000 crore industry, and Sivakasi alone caters to 80% of India’s needs
What makes Chinese crackers so attractive?
- Chinese crackers contain high amounts of Potassium chlorate which is believed to add colour and gives height to the fireworks and are dirt cheap.
- On the other hand, Indian crackers are made using potassium nitrate and aluminum powder which are safer but escalates the cost by three times as compared to potassium chlorate. Thus there is no way that Indian crackers can be sold at the price of Chinese.
- Low-cost Chinese fireworks that find their way into India containing potassium chlorate are highly unstable and can explode with just a sharp jolt.
- Further, Chemicals in these Chinese firecrackers are also toxic, causing skin diseases and triggering allergies. These are the main reasons behind the ban.
- Indian fireworks, by contrast, use potassium and sodium nitrates, which are more inert and, therefore, safer.
- The Ministry of Commerce and Industry in September 2014 had said that Possession and sale of fireworks of foreign origin in India is illegal and punishable under the Law.
- Knowing of Beijing constant support to Islamabad, some people have called for boycotting other Chinese goods altogether as well.
- China reacted on this general boycott of Chinese items and said any such move will negatively impact the India-China relations and India bound investments.
- India is a big market for Chinese products and over the years import of toys, furniture, building hardware, crackers, lighting and electric fittings, furnishing fabric etc from China has increased to a great extent.
- The Chinese embassy said China’s exports to India accounted for only 2 per cent of China’s total exports and India’s boycott of Chinese goods will not have much impact on China’s exports.
- However a new chapter seems to have added to already strained Indo-China relations as if other issues like border disputes, its support to Pakistan, Chinese Project through PoK region etc. were not sufficient.
- A major cracker (Sutli bomb) in the Indo-China relations in the recent times is the visit of USA Ambassador Richard Verma to Arunachal Pradesh and the proposed visit of Dalai Lama to the same which Chinese claim to be their territory.
- This Diwali, the neighbours seems to have enough issues to have a blast!
- Happy Diwali!