The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has claimed that there was a 60 per cent dip in the sales of Chinese goods this Diwali as a result of the social media campaign urging people to boycott Chinese products.
Instead of Chinese goods, people preferred earthen lamps and decorative items made from paper, clay and plastic to decorate their houses, and some households even used last year’s material for decoration purposes.
With India-Sino relations hitting a new low there has been widespread demand among sections of the society to ban Chinese products. The shrill for boycotting these goods became louder ahead of Diwali when Arvind Kejriwal led ruling AAP declared the ban on Chinese fire crackers.
China had blocked India’s UN bid on sanctioning Masood Azhar, chief of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based military group and also opposed India’s entry into the Nuclear Supplier’s group (NSG). Recently, a village court in Bihar too banned the sale and purchase of Chinese made commodities. The court termed China as being an enemy who supports Pakistan.
The sentiment echoed with traders too.
“Realising the mood among the people because of the social media campaign, traders across the country were seen reluctant in displaying Chinese goods on the counter and some traders had even put “Make in India” boards at their business establishments to woo consumers,” a CAIT spokesperson said.
“These statistics are based on the indications gathered by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) from 20 cities in different states, including Delhi, Mumbai, Nagpur, Jaipur, Ahmadabad, Kanpur and Bhopal which are generally considered as distribution cities,” the spokesperson said.
CAIT National President B C Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said the social media campaign, which affected consumers beside the markets, further intensified following the statement in the Chinese media that “India can only bark”. The people decided to opt for Indian products which included earthen lamps, decorative items made from clay and plastic, dry fruits, sweets, FMCG products and Indian electronica, among others.
Crackers made at Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu were preferred in comparison to Chinese crackers.
However, an analysis by IndiaSpend showed that imports from China grew at 20 per cent over two years and 5 per cent over five years, to $61 billion whereas, India’s exports to China have fallen from $18 billion (Rs 86,000 crore) in 2011-12 to $9 billion (Rs 58,000 crore) in 2015-16.
A Business Standard report also claimed markets in Delhi were flooded with Chinese firecrackers, which arrived months before Diwali. For traders, the margin is better with Chinese crackers. Also, the fireworks are a hit among consumers as they make more noise and attain good heights in the sky because of high content of potassium chlorate, a hazardous chemical that can explode spontaneously. Indian crackers are manufactured with the use of potassium nitrate and aluminium powder, which is three time more expensive than potassium chlorate.
Source : Business Standard