Good times end for kite-makers

Kite manufacturers in Delhi are facing manpower crunch with over 50 per cent shortage of labour, according a survey.

They are also loaded with the burden of Value Added Tax (VAT), says a survey by the Associated Chambers of Commerce of India.

At least 150 kite manufactures, wholesalers, retailers, artisans and traders were surveyed ahead of Independence Day celebrations.

This is a time when most people tend to fly kites. At least 80 per cent of those surveyed said the industry has been struggling because of rising prices of raw material as China is making cheaper thread (manja) used for flying kites.

A majority of people blamed inflation for the slump in the market as there has been an increase of 30 per cent in prices of raw material such as paper, string, powder used to colour strings and sticks. VAT has also led to a sharp decline of over 50 per cent in kite-making business.

Over half of the respondents in Old Delhi said the market is gloomy due to low number of customers, and only a few said sales may pick up. Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh is one of the most popular places for quality kite-strings, followed by Jaipur, Kolkata, Jodhpur and Lucknow.

The kite-making industry in Ahmedabad stands at Rs 100 crore, with 25,000 workers involved in the seasonal business.

According to Assocham, the industry is growing at a ‘compounded annual growth rate’ of 10 per cent and is currently pegged at Rs 1,200 crore.

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