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NEW DELHI : Toy imports into the Indian market during the last three years is showing a decreasing trend even as India has 8,366 registered Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) for toy manufacturing.

This comes in the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his monthly 'Mann ki Baat' radio programme, talked about making 'toys for the world' and highlighted the ability of India to become a 'toy hub’. While the global toy industry is over 7 trillion, India's share is very small.

“As per data available under Udyog Aadhaar Memorandum, there are 8366 registered MSMEs in India under the National Industrial Classification Code 2008 (NIC 2008) for toy manufacturing (codes number 32401, 32402, 32403, 32404,32405,32409)," this information was given by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Som Parkash, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday according to a statement from Ministry of Commerce & Industry.

With the Toys (Quality Control) Order coming into effect; all toys and materials designed or intended for use in play by children below 14 years of age is to be certified by the BIS. The certification is necessary to be eligible to sell in India and the absence of such certification will entail criminal liability under the BIS Act, 2016 including imprisonment and substantial fines.

“Data of proportion of imported toys in the domestic market is not maintained. However, Government has taken a series of steps to promote domestic manufacturing of toys to ensure that no sub-standard, unsafe cheap toys are imported into India. The government has taken significant steps for promoting domestic toy industry in the country, including mandatory sample testing of each imported consignment of toys, enhancement of Basic Customs Duty on Toys from 20% to 60%, implementation of Toys (Quality Control) Order with effect from 01.01.2021, etc," the statement added.

BIS that works under the Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution ministry has been turning the screws on certification of Chinese products. A case in point is delays in certification and testing approvals for imported solar equipment from China, Mint reported earlier.

“Government provides all-round support to protect the interests of the domestic toy industry by promoting Made in India toys; Designing of toys based on Indian values, culture, and history; Using toys as a learning resource, and Promoting indigenous toy clusters," the statement said.

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