New Delhi: In view of Chinese fireworks flooding the markets during the festive season, the government on Wednesday said that the possession or sale of firecrackers of foreign origin was illegal and punishable by law.

“Possession and sale of fireworks of foreign origin in India is illegal and punishable under the law. Information about possession or sale of such fireworks may be reported to the nearest police station for suitable action,” the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a statement.

The fireworks market size in India has crossed Rs 6,000 crore mark. Till date, no license for import of fireworks has been granted under the Explosives Rules, 2008.

Fireworks in India have been declared a restricted item in respect of import by the Director General of Foreign Trade. The manufacture, possession, use, sale, etc., of any explosive containing sulphur or sulphurate in admixture with any chlorate is banned in the country.

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) receives a number of complaints regarding clandestine import of fireworks of foreign origin under false declarations.

Various fireworks associations have time and again raised the issue and informed the authorities these smuggled items include the chemical “Potassium Chlorate” which is a dangerous and hazardous chemical and can ignite or explode spontaneously.