Bengaluru: Perhaps, it would not be an exaggeration to state that India tops the chart when it comes to production of incense sticks. Countries like China and Vietnam lag far behind. 
The industry is growing at a rapid pace. It saw an increase to Rs 965 crore in the year 2018 from Rs 798 crore in the year 2015. 

However, we must add that raw agarbattis were being imported from countries like China and Vietnam into India. After being imported, perfume used to be sprayed to the raw agarbattis and then sold. 
Importing from China and Vietnam only meant bad news for the locals here who depend on agarbatti rolling for their livelihood. Their business prospects were completely destroyed and some even had to shut their shops. 

But the problem did have a silver lining as the Narendra Modi-led Centre decided to step in and safeguard the interests of agarbatti makers in India. 
Under his leadership, the government decided to restrict the import of raw agarbattis from China and Vietnam, thereby giving a fresh lease of life for the local producers. 

A source close to MyNation, who didn’t wish to be revealed said, “We cannot import raw agarbattis from China and Vietnam. Under the guidance of VK Saxena, chairman of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) the import was banned and the project brought under the Make in India concept. What PM Modi has done is a thing in the right direction. It has helped the local manufacturers.”

Also Read: The agarbatti lobby and how it works

Well, the story just doesn’t stop at importing raw agarbattis. It also boils down to the inferior quality of the raw agarbattis. 

The source added, “When inferior quality incense sticks burn, it (inferior quality) will not be visible to the naked eye. It certainly affects us as we inhale it. The lower quality may also give rise to diseases.”  

For centuries together, Indian manufacturers have been manufacturing raw agarbattis here. So when the Modi government brought the raw agarbatti and other odoriferous items under ‘Restricted Category’ of Import in August, they were only taking a step in the right direction. 

This has also meant that these manufacturers are getting more work and it is needless to say they had a fantastic Diwali.