After Sangh prod, Centre decides to outlaw sale of foreign firecrackers
Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced on Wednesday that possession and sale of foreign origin fireworks was being declared illegal.
A statement by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) said, “The Possession and sale of fireworks of foreign origin in India is illegal and punishable under the Law. Information about possession and/or sale of such fireworks may be reported to the nearest Police Station for suitable action.” Earlier under the pressure from Sangh affiliates, the BJP-led Gujarat government too had banned use of firecrackers made abroad.
DIPP, which is part of Commerce Ministry, had received several complaints and representations regarding clandestine import of fireworks of foreign origin under false declarations. Many fireworks manufacturers associations had raised the issue and informed DIPP that these smuggled items include the chemical ‘Potassium Chlorate’ which was a dangerous and hazardous chemical and could ignite or explode spontaneously.
Adding further, fireworks in India have also 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 since January 1992.
“Till date, no license for import of fireworks has been granted under the Explosives Rules, 2008 by Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization, a subordinate office of DIPP,” said an official.
The domestic fireworks associations have been complaining about the rampant sale of foreign origin fireworks, especially those made in China, during festive season.
On April 17 this year the country witnessed a ghastly event at Puttingal Devi Temple near Kollam district of Kerala, where 102 people died and around 400 were injured as stray crackers accidentally fell into a fireworks stockpile at the fag end of the religious event.