'Flooding of Chinese Diwali items affecting Indian artisans'
New Delhi: The flooding of cheaper Chinese crackers and Diwali gift items are hurting the profitability of Indian artisans, says an Assocham study.
"The market is surging with Chinese products and consumers seem to be making a beeline to buy these attractive and cheap products. Local artisans are facing stiff competition to sell their products,," Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said quoting the study.
Rawat further said Chinese fireworks are entering India illegally through Nepal to corner a share of the Rs 1,800 domestic market.
"The demand for fancy lights, lampshades, Ganesha and Lakshmi idols, rangolis, crackers and other such various items have increased by over 45 percent compared to the last year," it said.
"The market is surging with Chinese products and consumers seem to be making a beeline to buy these attractive and cheap products," Rawat said.
The chamber said it surveyed over 300 consumers and 50 wholesale retailers in various cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Pune.
"Over 78 percent of consumers said Chinese lights are almost 50 percent cheaper as compared to Indian lights. Besides variety, these lights consume less electricity," the study said.
"A Chinese string of 100 tiny bulbs can be bought in the range of Rs 40 to Rs 60, while these lights produced in India are priced at over Rs 150," it said.
Also, the demand for earthen diyas (lamps) has been dipping and it is shifting towards fancy and designer diyas, it added.
Similarly, Chinese crackers are also finding more and more takers this diwali season.
"Majority of wholesalers surveyed said Chinese crackers are more colourful, available at less rates and have more variety," the study said.
"A large variety of Chinese fireworks are circulating in the Indian market and volume could increase if necessary steps are not taken," Rawat said.
Chinese products are competing with domestic items and thus hurting the profitability of Indian producers. A large number of Indian artisans are also suffering due to the competition, Rawat said.
The study said the Indian fireworks industry employs around 2.5 lakh people and provides an additional 5 lakhs indirect jobs.
Besides, Chinese producers make lightweight idols of Hindu gods and goddesses made of polystone.
"Hindu deities like Saraswati, Lakshmi and Ganesh and fancy lights catch the attention of the buyer instantly," said majority of retailers.
The cheap Chinese goods like electric streamers, gift items, crockery and other decoratives in the market has sparked demand this season, Assocham said.