'We received bulk orders in the month of March, but as GST was implemented from June, we didn't push it to customers as 28 per cent of tax means no profit for us,” said a wholesale dealer.
According to informed city police sources, temporary licenses obtained by shop owners to sell crackers have dwindled this season.
“There are no visible roadside cracker shops in Central Chennai due to stringent monitoring and in general shop keepers who last year came to the station to furnish details of cracker stocks are also missing this year,” said a police inspector. Another major reason for the dip in cracker sales is the economic slowdown. “Economic slowdown and awareness on pollution have also reduced corporate orders and Bunder street is dull this year missing the Deepavali fervour,” said an employee with Mahesh Stationeries that sells crackers during Deepavali.
The wholesale business is blunt till now and dealers are hoping for the retail business to improve by Sunday. And to attract kids interesting names for the fireworks are being marketed this season.
While the names of social networking sites including Facebook and WhatsApp made for impactful brands last year, it is the turn of the movies to occupy the space this Deepavali.
Most of the new cracker varieties are named after the upcoming projects noted directors and actors. Explaining the trend, R Mahesh of Sri Krishna fireworks, Sivakasi said, “We have named the cracker brands after Mahabharata as Bahubali director's next movie is on the epic. The same way, as there is going to be a sequel for 7am Arivu, we created brands such as 5th sense and 6th sense. The whole point is to be remembered and make some sales,” he said.