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PM Says Make Toys In India But Where Are The Facilities Industry Asks

Nothing much has happened in the year since Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to the Indian toy industry to ‘make in India’ instead of relying on imports, especially from China. After his appeal in February 2021, the industry has been waiting for incentives, but in vain. The only positive development was a month earlier: the introduction of compulsory BIS certification, for both domestically-manufactured and imported toys, with effect from 01 January. This has cut down official imports – but CKD is still permitted – which, say industry spokespersons, allows traders to bring in the entire item in collusion with customs officers who are content to look the other way for a consideration.  “We need more positive action”, says Vikram Goel, CEO of the Mumbai-based Infotech Resources, a manufacturer, exporter, supplier and retailer of hand puppets and soft toys. First, he says, the Government should give them free land to set up manufacturing facilities. It should also provide free space in Indian toy exhibitions and sponsor those abroad. A stall in a Mumbai or Delhi event puts an exhibitor back by Rs11,000 while a trip to Nuremberg for the biggest global exhibition costs about Rs11 lakh plus the fares. “Which small manufacturer can afford that?” he asks.