Jaunpur: Jasmine flower, which is known for its fruity fragrance and aromatic oil that has therapeutic use as well, is dying a slow death. At a time when demand for Jasmine oil has increased in global market, regulations imposed by the government for its export has emerged as big hurdle.

Jaunpur, an ancient city and a major Muslim center situated 58 km to the north-west of Varanasi, is known for its Jasmine oil. In countries like USA, England, Singapore and other Asian countries, Jaunpur’s Jasmine oil has made its groove and its demand has spiked in the last few years.

However, negligent attitude of the government towards promoting the industry coupled with abject lack of facilities to raise its production and poor farming have crippled the Jasmine business in the city.

The large-scale production of Jasmine oil was earlier carried out in more than three dozen localities of the city. The fragrant oil was extracted by placing Jasmine flowers amid warm sesame seeds and shelled to acquire the smell of Jasmine.

But what added to the woes of business men was the stock limit of sesame seeds which forced them to take a backseat. In addition, introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) created bottlenecks for the Jasmine oil business.

Surprisingly, supplying 5000 litres of Jasmine oil has shrunk to 1500 litres only.  According to the President of Jaunpur Oil Small Scale Industries Association, Someshwar Kesarwani, people are striving hard to run their ancestral business. Despite several meeting with the ministers to revive the oil industry, the Jasmine oil traders have received only assurances.

JPN/Bureau