Homemade agarbattis to create jobs: Why Modi govt curbed import of incense sticks

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Published: September 2, 2019 3:49:55 PM

There has been a big fall in employment in Indian Agarbatti Industry, which has been crippling ever since UPA government slashed duty from 30% to 10% in 2011.

agarbatti, incense stick, govt put restriction, import duty, jobs, employment, narendra modiThe price of raw agarbattis that is used by the local perfume makers has fallen from Rs 70 per kg in 2009 to Rs 48 per kg in 2018. (Bloomberg image)

Narendra Modi led government has put restrictions on imports of Agarbatti (incense stick) and other odoriferous preparations which operate by burning. Such imports were free till now and consequently these imports doubled in the last five years, restricting the domestic agarbatti industry from growing. This has resulted in an increase in unemployment in this industry. “There has been a big fall in employment in Indian Agarbatti Industry, which has been crippling ever since UPA government slashed duty from 30% to 10% in 2011,” said Vinai Kumar Saxena, Chairman, Khadi & Village Industries Commission, while meeting Nitin Gadkari and Piyush Goyal before the government took its decision to put restriction on agarbatti imports.

“I was shocked to see that in 2016-17, we had established 2,831 projects of agarbatti making with the disbursement Rs 10.06 crore as margin money and created 22,648 direct employment in this field. Sadly, in 2017-18 and 2018-19, we could establish only 279 and 397 units respectively, which has created a heavy loss in employment in the agarbatti-making industry,” Vinai Kumar Saxena said to The Pioneer. He also said that  Khadi and Village Industries Commission would establish at least 50,000 Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) units of agarbatti-making across the nation in the coming months this year.   

Also Read: While Modi wants to double farmers’ income, agri share in India’s growth halves in his term

The price of raw agarbattis that is used by the local perfume makers has fallen from Rs 70 per kg in 2009 to Rs 48 per kg in 2018. However, immediately after the government imposed restrictions on imports, the prices of raw agarbattis have appreciated by Rs 5 per kg. The new restriction is likely to create 20 lakh jobs in some months, said Subhash Bhatia, Head, Raw Agarbatti Manufacturers’ Association.

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