A brighter Diwali for Agarbatti manufacturers

Achche Din (good days) have come for the Agarbatti Manufacturers in India, after the Narendra Modi-led government ordered to put Raw Agarbatti and other odoriferous items under 'Restricted Category' of Import on August 29, this year.

Dawood Khan H, who was compelled to put the shutters down of his Agarbatti Manufacturing unit in Vellore district in Tamil Nadu – broke into tears, saying, "The import of Raw Agarbatti and Round Bamboo Sticks had broken our spine. It was the historic decision made by the Narendra Modi Government, which has given us a ray of hope. I have already started production last month and supplied 300 MT of Agarbatti to meet the Diwali demand and by December this year, I will increase my capacity to 1000 MT per month. It would have been remained a mirage for us to revive my defunct unit if the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) Chairman V K Saxena had not intervened in the matter."

First it was the Bangalore Declaration of All India Agarbatti Manufacturers on September 7, in which some 250 participants pledged that they will create at least 5.5 lakh direct employments in six months

After getting overwhelming response from the Agarbatti Manufacturers in Bangalore, the KVIC Chairman decided to take stock of Agarbatti units in North-East states. During his visit to Guwahati and Agartala, Saxena was foxed to see that the Agarbatti manufacturers of that area were also on the receiving end due to heavy import. After North-East, KVIC Chairman visited Gujarat on September 18, to meet the Agarbatti manufacturers there. For Bhavik Shah, the Secretary of Gujarat Agarbatti Manufacturers & Dealers Association (GAMDA) – an organisation consisting of 1,500 manufactures, dealers and perfumers, said, "Our PM has given a lease of life to Agarbatti Industry in India, which had lost its way due to unabated import of Raw Agarbatti and Roubd Bamboo Sticks.

"These overwhelming response from all breadths and lengths of Agarbatti Industry have dashed the myth created by the group of importers, who had been claiming that India doesn't have potential to be self-dependent in Agarbatti production and it will create shortage of Agarbatti during this Diwali season which will lead to price increase," said Saxena, asking, "When the country was able to meet the demand of 1,173 metric tonnes Agarbatti per day without import in 2011, why can't it fulfill the demand of producing 1,390 metric tonnes in 2019, which is little over 200 metric than nine years ago?"

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