NEW DELHI: Restrictions on imports of agarbatti and other similar items have brought good fortune for the indigenous manufacturers who witnessed an increase in demand for such products during Diwali.
Vellore resident Dawood Khan H, who was compelled to put the shutters down of his agarbatti manufacturing unit, said the import of raw agarbatti and round bamboo sticks had hit their business hard but the government's decision has given him a ray of hope.
"I have already started production last month and supplied 300 metric tonnes (MT) of agarbatti to meet the Diwali demand and by December this year, I will increase my capacity to 1,000 MT per month.
"At present, 400 workers are working and by December this year, 1,500 people will be employed," he said.
Another agarbatti manufacturer, Pawan Soni, said his family celebrated Diwali in true sense after eight years.
"My plant was struggling but after the restriction was imposed on import, we have started production in double shift to meet the growing demand. We have orders to supply 700 MT per month.
"I am setting up a new large factory in Assam which will produce 5,000 MT agarbatti sticks per month and will provide employment to 700 local people, mostly women," he said.
Bikram Deka, another agarbatti manufacturer of Nawgaon in Assam, said, "I was incurring huge losses and was planning to close my plant, but good news came and now my plant is working in full capacity.
Due to diwali demand, perfumers have not only placed huge orders but also paid advance payments which I have not witnessed in my 5 years of this business. I have supply orders of 200 MT per month".
Reacting on the development, KVIC chairman V K Saxena said almost all the units have become operational and some of them have started production in three shifts to meet the demand.
"The overwhelming response from the 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," Saxena said.