Chennai: Tightening its grip over illegal import of Chinese crackers which are reportedly flooding the Indian market, the Centre has issued a public notification warning importers and public of the legal consequences they would face if involved with it.
"We have taken action. Last night we have issued a notification and advertisement that it is illegal to sell imported crackers in retail, since there has been no permit given to anyone to import crackers. If found in markets, investigation would be made on how it found its way into India," Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman said.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function here, she said her Ministry has also written to all Chief Ministers to take action against those responsible.
"Advertisements and public notifications would follow on under what sections this act is illegal," she said.
Clarifying on the claims by some that permits were obtained under the Explosives Act, she said specific permission has to be taken to import crackers.
"But I am making it clear here that no permission has been given to anyone for importing crackers. So, illegal import, possession and selling of crackers from other countries is undoubtedly a crime."
The Minister also urged the public to report to local police any such case of sale of imported crackers.
"Last week, tracing some imported crackers, the Customs confiscated a container in Mumbai. We are acting very seriously on the issue," Sitharaman, also Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, said.
She recalled a meeting last month with representatives from the firecrackers industry from Tamil Nadu, where they complained of Chinese crackers illegally entering the markets through sea and posing a major threat to their livelihood.
Firecrackers is one of the major industries in Tamil Nadu, centred around Sivakasi and is the source of livelihood for lakhs of families. A sizeable printing industry is also dependent on this sector.