Tamil Nadu seeks to make its firecracker industry globally competitive

Chennai, Nov 16 (Inditop.com) With Tamil Nadu accounting for the lion’s share of the country’s firecracker production, the state government is planning to undertake a detailed study on measures to make the industry globally competitive.

“We find there is good growth potential for this sector within and outside India,” said Sigy Thomas Vaidhyan, district collector of Virudhunagar, home to India’s firecracker hub Sivakasi.

“China is a major global player. We would like to know the challenges faced by this sector and steps needed to be taken for its growth,” Vaidhyan told Inditop.

Towards this, a detailed study has been mooted, with the government now looking at how the project could be funded, she added.

“China is able to export and a study will reveal the steps needed for Indian sector to go global.”

The firecracker industry in the state is concentrated in Sivakasi, where there are about 8,000 units, but it is largely unorganised with little data available.

According to Vaidhyan, the study will help in deciding whether setting up a dedicated industrial estate or industrial cluster or even a special economic zone (SEZ) could help the industry go global.

An industry source said each unit would need at least 50 acres as safety regulations make it mandatory to locate sheds at a considerable distance from one another.

“Compared to China, the cost of manufacturing the products is very high here and hence it cannot be globally competitive. And even in China, there is no SEZ for this sector,” he added.

According to him, what would also come in the way of exports are the various clearances needed by various port authorities to allow docking of ships carrying firecrackers, a hazardous item.