Mumbai | 11th February 2020: Proposed hike of 200% in import duty on toys from the next fiscal year has left no options for the retailers in toy sector but to voice their dissent against the decision of the Centre. Toy retailers in Mumbai have come together to form United Toys Association to appeal the government for revoking the proposed hike from 20% to 60% in the import duty on toys. This step will adversely affect more than one lakh retailers across India. High duty will make toys unaffordable for masses, resulting in closure of the businesses and a spur of unemployment.
This step taken by the Government of India to promote the Make in India movement might impact positively in a very long run but currently in the state in which Indian economy and infrastructure is, the Toy industry is not prepared to sustain with such drastic hike in the custom duty. Mr Abdullah Sharif, Vice- President of United Toys Association of Mumbai said, “Presently, India imports 85% toys in the industry annually, out of which 75% are from China. This step of proposing 200% hike in import duty on toys has hit us like a shock. In last 2 years we have seen the import duty on toys has been increased around 500%. This step will make the toys unaffordable for the customers, decreasing the sales of toys tremendously and adversely affecting the livelihood of millions of people employed in toy industry across India”.
The quality and variety of international toys is superior than those manufactured in India, also the imported toys are more affordable. The imposition of proposed import duty on toys will result to a major setback in the growth that has been seen due to the import of toys with exceptional quality and variety in the Indian toy market.
The Indian Toy Industry currently does not have a viable eco-system to support toy production on a large scale in India. Domestic toy manufacturers that contribute around 15% of the toys in the Indian market. By curbing import of toys the eco-system of toy business in India which saw major growth only due to excellent variety of imported toys will get a major setback. Toys shops all over India shall not be able to sustain the blow of such hike.
United Toys Association, Mumbai requests the government of India to kindly treat toys as an essential commodity having  similar relevance for a child as an education book, as the present day toys like the STEM toys/ Flying Toys/Role-Play Toys/Coding Toys/Model Kits  which are now available all over the world and are considered more of educational tools teaching the child the principles of science, enhancing the cognitive skills of the child and different kind of Roll Play toys which create aspirations among children to turn in Pilots, Scientists, Doctors, Engineers, Astronauts, Politicians etc.