NEW DELHI: To curb the rising import of incense sticks from China and Vietnam, which has been severely impacting local manufacturing, the government on Saturday placed restrictions on imports of agarbattis.
“The import policy for agarbattis and other odoriferous preparations that operate by burning is revised from free to restricted,” said Directorate General of Foreign Trade in a notification.
Besides, importers of these goods will now require a licence from the government for imports.
The government had in 2011 brought down the import duty on raw agarbattis and other products from 30 per cent to 10 per cent and then to 5 per cent in 2018. This led to a boom in import of raw agarbattis from `31 crore in 2009 to over `540 crore in 2018.
Import from China increased from `1.7 crore in 2011 to `212 crore in 2018. While import of bamboo sticks from Vietnam used for incense stick manufactures also increased, under the Indo-Asean trade pact terms.