CHENNAI: On a day when Express put the spotlight on the smuggling of hazardous Chinese fireworks into the country, the Commerce and Industry Ministry announced that the possession or sale of fireworks of foreign origin is “illegal and punishable”.
The Ministry statement, which did not name the country of the fireworks’ origin, reiterated the salient points highlighted by the Express coverage. Namely, the fireworks contained a highly unstable and hazardous compound - Potassium Chlorate, which can ignite or explode spontaneously. And also that the possession and sale of these firecrackers draw hefty penalties, both monetary and jail terms, under both the Explosives Act and the Explosive Substances Act.
“The manufacture, possession, use and sale of any explosive containing sulphur or sulphurate in admixture with any chlorate is banned in the country,” asserted the Ministry.
“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,” the ministry warned.
The ministry also pointed out that the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) had taken note of the fact that these fireworks have been illegally brought into India through various means, including misdeclaration at customs.
Fireworks come under the restricted list of Imports, a list maintained by the Director General of Foreign Trade, and as of date there has been no issue of any license to any person or companies allowing the import of the same under the Explosives Rules, 2008 by Petroleum Explosives Safety Organisation, which operates under the DIPP.