'Made in China' Holi toys and colours are favoured by customers as they are much cheaper than locally made products
Indian manufacturers of Holi colours, water guns, balloons and other products are losing out to Chinese imports because of at least 55 percent price differential, said a survey-cum-analysis by Assocham.
"Invasion of innovative and fancy Chinese Holi toys and colours despite the government’s efforts to promote ‘Make in India,’ is making the survival difficult for small manufacturers," said the survey conducted by Social Development Foundation of Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham).
Indian manufacturers were facing losses to the tune of a whopping 75 per cent as only about quarter of their products found buyers, said the survey based on responses of about 250 manufacturers, sellers, suppliers and traders of Holi colours, water guns and other such products across India.
"There is a price differential of over 55 per cent between Chinese Holi colours and sprinklers and those made by local manufacturers," said D.S. Rawat, secretary general of Assocham, while releasing the findings of the survey on Tuesday.
Majority of the respondents said that traditional 'pichkari' (water gun or sprinkler) has almost disappeared from the markets due to minimal consumer interest.
Despite being made from toxic products, 'Made in China' Holi toys and colours are favoured by customers as they are much cheaper than locally made products, said the respondents.
Many of the respondents rued the rampant use of acids, alkalis, diesel, engine oil, glass powder, mica and other substances that damage the skin, together with cheap quality of plastic being used to manufacture low-cost water guns.
Most of the local manufacturers said they only sell 'herbal' colours that don't damage the skin.
Some blamed the rise in price of raw materials like water-soluble plant pigments for slack in their business.
According to a rough estimate by Assocham, over 5,000 colour manufacturing units produce over five lakh kilograms of 'gulal' (as dry colour traditional used in the festival is known) to be used on Holi across India.
Over two lakh kg of gulal is consumed across Uttar Pradesh alone.
The state of Uttar Pradesh is home to 'Braj mandal,' the region associated with Lord Krishna, where Holi is celebrated with special fervour and attracts people from India and abroad.