Chief Minister MK Stalin on Friday urged his counterparts in Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Odisha to permit sale of crackers in the four states.
“The firecracker industry, concentrated around the town of Sivakasi, is one of the most important industrial activities in the state. Around 8 lakh workers depend on the firecracker industry for their livelihood, which is the largest in our country. It has been brought to my notice that your government has imposed a ban on the sale of firecrackers during this festival season (Deepavali-2021). Such a ban if imposed by other states would lead to the closure of the entire industry, jeopardising the livelihood of around 8 lakh persons,” said Stalin, in a DO letter written to the Chief Ministers of the four states.
Taking the pollution factor into account, Supreme Court had imposed severe restrictions for sale and bursting crackers. According to the restrictions, people are permitted to explode crackers only two hours on the day of Deepavali due to which the production of crackers has gone down affecting the livelihood of people dependent on cracker industry. As COVID-19 has further affected the livelihood of people in the cracker industry they have been urging the state government to take necessary action to lift the curbs and to help them.
Following their demands, Chief Minister, in his DO letter said, “the COVID-19 pandemic had a crippling effect on the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector in the country. The impact on Tamil Nadu’s economy, largely dependent on the MSME sector for growth and employment, has been significantly severe. My government is now in the process of reviving the sector through focused interventions. You would also appreciate that bursting of firecrackers is an integral part of Indian festivals, especially Deepavali. A balanced approach that gives due regard to environment, livelihood and public health is possible and necessary.”