Last-minute inspections and renewals affect sales during Deepavali, traders said, and have submitted a memorandum on the matter to the Minister of TN Industries.
The Tamil Nadu Fireworks Traders Federation has requested the intervention of the Minister of State for Industries, Thangam Thennarasu, to simplify the licensing procedures for a permanent and temporary cracker store.
“The explosives rules allow authorities to license permanent cracker stores for a period of five years. However, officials only issue licenses for one to three years depending on their whims and fancies, ”said State President V. Rajachandrasekaran. This kind of practice puts a lot of work not only on the officials but also on the traders, as officials let them guess for months every time they apply for renewals of their licenses.
“Applications submitted in February or March are only examined one month before the date [Deepavali] festival, ”he said. Licenses for permanent stores with crackers up to 500 kg are issued by the police commissioner within city limits and by district revenue officers within rural limits.
The license for large stores with fireworks up to 1500 kg is issued by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization. “PESO usually grants the license for a period of up to 5 years,” he said.
Stating that inspections of officials, from village administrative officers to District Revenue Officer, take a long time when the process is initiated at the last minute, traders wanted officials to clear claimants within a stipulated time frame.
“Due to pending license applications, many traders are forced to keep their fireworks in unlicensed locations as the festival approaches. Traders will be faced with a dilemma as to whether to proceed with their purchases, create infrastructure, find labor and other activities or wait for the license, ”said Rajachandrasekaran.
Likewise, licenses for temporary stores can be granted one month before Deepavali. However, officials put out a call for entries just 15 days before the festival and traders end up having their actual sale for five days to a week.
“It often affects the sale of goods during Deepavali,” he added.
The traders handed over a memorandum to the minister. They also called for strict enforcement of the ban on the sale of fireworks online.