December 11, 2021 - 10:05 am

Better Late Than Never 

In continuation of constant emphasis on boosting self-reliance, the Indian government has just renewed vigor into the toy sector to form a significant chunk of a developing economy that is slowly coming of age. On January 1, India had banned the sale of toys that are not certified by the Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS). But has this new regulation translated into major growth for the domestic toy industry ?

                                    India imports 80% of its toys from foreign countries having only 1.5 % share of this otherwise 100 billion dollar world market, India has remained heavily dependent on other countries for the humongous demand it generates considering it is the second most populous nation in the world with a significant component being the youth, particularly children. But the fresh rules on product standards and a steep rise in basic customs duty have altered the dynamics of the industry but not necessarily to the benefit of small players. The reductions in imports have led to a rise in domestic production and also an increase in export from India. There is a lot of rise in investments in the sector post - January 2021. The government also lined up a steep increase in the basic customs duties on imported toys from 20 % to 60% to help the domestic industry compete against import from countries such as China.

                                    India is one of the fastest growing markets for toys. The lockdowns and the resulting compulsion of individuals to restart to online interactions have come as a blessing in disguise for many people working in the toy sector. Linking the same to India's glorious culture and civilization, a Toycathon was organised for the first time in India providing youngsters and industry leaders a platform to engage and share new ideas. Better late than never is manufacturing industry, if developed properly has a good shot at providing immense benefits to not just remote regions in the country but also the most vulnerable sections of society who with dignity and honor can participate in the country's development paradigm.