New Delhi: Demand for cheap and fancy China-made Diwali items like lights, lampshades, Ganesha and Laxmi idols, rangolis, crackers and gift products, has increased sharply this year, a survey has revealed.
According to the survey conducted by the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Assocham), the demands for China made products has surged 45 percent year-on-year this season.
Assocham secretary general D.S. Rawat said local artisans were the worst hit because of the influx of Chinese items in this festive season.
Nearly 78 percent of the people who participated in the quick survey said Chinese lights were almost 50 percent cheaper as compared to Indian lights. Moreover, Chinese items have more variety.
The cheaper Chinese products can help reduce Diwali budget by almost 35 percent.
Nearly 72 percent of the traders who participated in the survey said the demand for the earthen lamps or diyas were declining year after year and shifting towards fancy and designer diyas, which are mostly made in China.
"A Chinese string of 100 tiny bulbs can be bought in the range of Rs.40 to Rs.60. Lights in the shape of pineapples, pomegranates, rice and net stars among others are seen to be popular among buyers," said a trader at Delhi's Sadar Bazaar, the biggest wholesale market in North India.
China-made lightweight idols of Hindu gods and goddesses made of polystone are becoming increasingly popular in India.
Nearly 76 percent of the wholesale dealer of gift items said the cheap Chinese materials have caught the imagination of middle class shoppers. "People use Chinese items because they are very cheap also consume less electricity and even the poor can afford to buy them," said a trader.
Rawat said Chinese fireworks were entering Indian markets illegally through Nepal, which has severely hit Rs.1,800 crore domestic markets. Chinese fireworks worth around Rs.250 crore are circulating in the Indian market and the volume could rise if necessary steps are not taken, he said.
Indian fireworks industry employs around 2.5 lakh people and provides indirect employment to an additional 5 lakh people.