Holi mess: 1,000 SMEs shut down, 1 million job lost'

Nearly 1,000 small and medium enterprises engaged in production of Holi colours and squirt guns have closed down their units in the last three years, resulting in 8-10 lakh job losses, in the wake of rising competition from Chinese producers, a survey has claimed.

"Nearly 1,000 SMEs have closed down their facilities which has resulted into job losses for up to 10 lakh people engaged, either full-time or part-time, in the sector," industry body Assocham said in a survey.

"For the past 5 years, the business of local sprinklers has been decreasing due to stiff competition from Chinese manufacturers. The domestic companies are also facing huge competition from Chinese manufacturers as a wide variety of plastic sprinklers, colours and colourful perfumed sprays with a 'Made in China' tag are available in the market at cheap prices," Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said.

The chamber said that it has conducted a survey of over 1,500 Holi colour manufacturers and shopkeepers at Allahabad, Brij Mandal (Agra, Hathras, Mathura and Vrindavan), Delhi, Kanpur, Lucknow and Patna during January and February this year.

Further, the survey observed that items which can be easily manufactured here with the zero technology should be discouraged through restrictions on imports."

The survey, quoting a wholesaler of plastic toys and sprinklers, said almost all the Chinese products of Holi which were stocked have been sold and local products that were purchased from manufacturers in low quantities are still lying with them.

Last year, the ratio of sale of Chinese and Indian sprinklers was 80:20, but this year this ratio has changed to 95:5, the survey.

It said Chinese sprinklers are innovative as compared to the local. These come in various shapes and sizes right from the replica of a soft drink to funny goggles, elephant, cartoon characters, flute, watch and mobile phones, attracting children.

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