The fireworks industry in Tamil Nadu’s Sivakasi city on Friday announced that they would be withdrawing from the indefinite closure which lasted for 25 days and resume work from Monday.
The decision comes after KT Rajenthra Bhalaji, the Minister for Dairy Development, met with the industry representatives for over two hours, and assured them that the state government would take up the industry’s cause, The Hindu reported
On Friday, the industry representatives had also met Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami.
He promised that the state government would put pressure on the central government to exempt the industry from the Environment (Protection) Rules, with regard to the air pollution issue.
The decision was taken in the interest of several lakh workers and their families, whose livelihoods would be destroyed if the strike continued, according to Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers secretary K Mariappan.
The indefinite strike was started by over 840 cracker units in Sivakasi, the fireworks hub of the country, from December 26, demanding the early disposal of the Public Interest Litigation filed in the Supreme Court seeking a countrywide ban on firecrackers.
Ever since the November 1 ban of the sale of firecrackers in the Delhi-NCR region by the Supreme Court, the cracker industry was faced with plummeting sales.
According to workers, dealers who feared losses, refused to pay the advance with the petition yet to be heard. This affected the working capital requirements of the industry.
The advance payment by dealers would constitute around 75% of the working capital needs of the industry said the All India Federation of Fireworks Associations functionaries, according to a Businessline report in 2017.
While the consumption of firecrackers maybe seasonal, their production goes on all round the year and provides a livelihood to 8 lakh workers.
Further, the fireworks industry is also the backbone of the Sivakasi economy and sustains ancillary industries like transport, paper, packaging etc.