Prime Minister Narendra Modi gives new lease of life to Agarbatti Industry

It seems Achche Din (good days) have come for the Agarbatti Manufacturers in India, after the Government ordered to put Raw Agarbatti and other odoriferous items under 'Restricted Category' of import on August 29 this year.

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. Dawood Khan H, who was compelled to put the shutters down of his Agarbatti Manufacturing unit in Vellore district in Tamil Nadu, said,"The import of raw agarbatti and round bamboo sticks had broken our spine. It was the heroic and historic decision made by the Government. I have already started cleaning and overhauling the machines in my unit – lying defunct from the last several years. The revival would have remained a mirage for us if the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) Chairman V K Saxena had not appraised the concerned Ministers about the pathetic conditions of KVIC's PMEGP units of Agarbatti-making."

Khan's unit had once upon a time provided employment to at least 1,500 women of the area.

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 last week, Saxena was foxed to see that the Agarbatti manufacturers of that area – which is believed to be the Bamboo-hub of India – were also on the receiving end due to heavy import. "It is really a happy moment for me that after the government's decision, almost all the units have become operational and some of them have started production in three shifts to meet the demand," Saxena said.

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 and Dealers Association (GAMDA) – an organisation consisting of 1,500 manufactures, dealers and perfumers, Narendra Modi 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. "All the members of GAMDA have unanimously pledged to double their production and plant at least five saplings of Jaati Baans," he said.

"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," said Saxena.

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