In a recent development, Govt. of India restricted the import of Agarbatti (Incense) and other similar products, which were mostly coming from China and Vietnam. In a festive season, when every single incense manufacturer was busy in meeting the market's need, it was a strange decision. This certainly will open doors for local incense manufacturers to meet the requirement, thus increase in employment, but transit phase will see troubles too due to shortage of raw material for brands.
Incense Media tried speaking to leading brands, manufacturers and related industry players to understand the consequences.
Here we put the words, as it is.
Every economic decision at national level has its pros and cons and the directive to put incense and related products in a restrictive list is no different.
While it is obvious that it will create an opportunity for the local manufacturers and sources to bridge the gap and enhance the employment and revenue prospects, on the other side it will create a supply gap leading to shortages and price increase.
It is worthwhile to note that the product was a raw material and did lead in one way or other to generate employment through fast expanding incense industry that has been growing not just in numbers but geo graphically.
We have to accept that in a free global market an imported product will have acceptance only if local ones are not able to offer quantity, quality, variety and pricing. This fact states a lot in fewest possible words. It was this issue that needs addressing.
So is the decision correct or not?
Well in my view more than the decision what is correct or incorrect is not the decision but how it is taken.
Off-late most of such decision have been knee jerk reaction, taken too soon without realising the collateral damage.
In today’s fragile business scenario, last thing a firm of any size would want is an imbalance. This decision has caused a major one.
There is no harm in boosting local manufacturing and cutting imports but it needs to be done in gradual phases.
The authorities should have ensured smooth transition. On one side they should have taken measures to boost the quality, quantity, variety and feasibility of locally made raw incense and on the other side they should have created gentle road blocks for imports. The more the local output would have grown, the stronger these curbs would have made.
The industry must give a representation to the respective authorities and present their case in way that they are given due and apt consideration.
In my personal view, this was not the time and way to have taken this decision. The approach should have been more collaborative, inclusive and mutual with the industry.
I am writing this not as the head of a leading brand in incense but as someone who observes and studies the dynamics of small and medium scale businesses.
Another thing worth while to note is that some elements have taken this opportunity to spread rumours in market at trade and distribution level that import of Agarbathi is banned where as the fact is that it is restricted. Such things need to be clarified in the interest of business.
This is certainly a BIG issue today for industry. The effects have started coming by increase in approximately Rs. 5 increase in the price of raw aggrbatti. Now there are 2 point of views.
1. Perfumed Agarbatti manufactures: Yes this transit phase will increase their cost and may be the quantity requirements might fall short. But just think it the other way, if No restrictions but Dollar price touches 75/- plus as it is going up day n day then will it not effect the raw Agarbatti price ?
Also the shipments dispatched before 31-8-19 will touch the port in approximately 20-25 days, meaning end of September thus No short supply for festive season. But there is always more requirement of raw Aggarbatti comparatively in the festival season which will DEFINITELY hit the panic trigger in manufactures But PANIC IS NO SOLUTION. Peaceful and procurement according to requirements is the need of hour.
2. Raw Aggarbatti manufactures: There are many shutdown units of raw Agarbatti manufacturing. Now is the time that they should start over again. Quality n pricing should be appropriate thus helping the industry.There are assurances from raw Agarbatti manufactures sector that they will not let India down. This will increase employment and sustainability in industry.
Hope both sectors coordinate with each other and *INDIA SHINES*.
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