Import restrictions have boosted agarbatti manufacturing in India: Piyush Goyal

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said that restrictions on imports helped in promoting manufacturing at large scale and going forward we can increase farming of agarwoods to stop its imports also and become self-reliant in this sector.
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During a buyer-seller meeting on agarwood products of Tripura, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said that imposition of import restrictions on agarbatti has helped in promoting domestic manufacturing of these incense sticks at large scale.

In August 2019, the government put curbs on imports of agarbatti and other similar products amid reports of significant increase in inbound shipments from countries like China and Vietnam. Importers of these goods require a licence from the government.

"The restrictions on imports helped in promoting manufacturing at large scale. Going forward, we can increase farming of agarwoods and then we can stop its imports also and become self-reliant in this sector," Goyal said at a buyer-seller meet on agarwood products of Tripura.

Global trade of agarwood chips and its products is estimated at about $30 billion, and the Commerce and Industry Minister also said a scheme was formulated for increasing rubber plantation with the help of the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA).

Piyush Goyal

In an interaction with SMBStory earlier this year, Ankit Agarwal, Director of incense stick maker MDPH, said, the industry never imported finished products; it only imported unfinished raw incense prior to September 2019. 

“Even when raw incense was imported, 85 percent value addition was done in India. From September 2019, thanks to the government’s efforts, incense sticks are 100 percent made in India.”

Arjun Ranga, President of All India Agarbathi Manufacturers Association (AIAMA) also told SMBStory that despite competition from China and Vietnam, the industry has managed to dominate the Indian market with its premium quality products.

Indian incense sticks are exported to more than 150 countries, the US, the UK, Malaysia, and Nigeria being the top markets and by the end of this year, experts believe that exports would grow by 15 percent. 

In the Union Budget 2021, the government earmarked Rs 15,700 crore for the development of this sector. 

(Background info has been added to this PTI copy for context)

 

Edited by Megha Reddy

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