In Budget 2021, the government may announce formulation of a dedicated policy for the toys sector to boost domestic manufacturing, sources told PTI.
The policy will help in creating a strong ecosystem for the industry and also attract startups. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry is already taking steps to promote domestic manufacturing of toys.
It has come out with a quality control order for the sector and had also increased import duty last year on toys. The order on quality control is one of the ways to stop the flow of cheap sub-standard toys into the domestic market.
A source said that the country has low share in the international toys industry and India's exports account for less than 0.5 percent of global demand, so there are immense opportunities in this segment.
The other areas that could be considered for the sector include the promotion of research and development (R&D) and design centres for toys.
The government launched Toycathon 2021 in January "Boosting manufacturing would also help increase exports of toys from India. Countries like China and Vietnam are major players in the sector," they added. India's toy exports are limited to about $100 million per year.
The domestic toys industry is primarily in the unorganised sector, comprising about 4,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
About 85 percent of toys are imported in the country, with the maximum coming from China. It is followed by Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Germany, Hong Kong, and the US. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier said that India has the talent and ability to become a toy hub for the entire world, and called upon startups to work towards realising this potential while being "vocal about local toys".
Earlier in January, the government launched Toycathon 2021, an initiative by the Innovation Cell, Ministry of India.
It invites "India's innovative minds to conceptualise novel toys and games based on Indian history, civilisation, ethos, and culture”.
Aligned with the goals of National Education Policy 2020, Toycathon 2021 aims to capture innovative prowess of 33 crore students across the country.