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New Delhi [India], July 6 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi's clarion call on rebranding the Indian toy story in his 'Mann ki Baat' address in August 2020 has led to government interventions that have helped the industry, toy manufacturers have said and noted that initiatives taken have helped in substantially boosting exports and discouraging imports.

The government's Make-in-India initiative has yielded positive results for the toy sector in the country with imports down by 70 per cent while 61 per cent surge in exports in the last three year.

General secretary of Toy Association of India Sharad Kapoor said PM Modi has infused new energy in the industry which has resulted in a hike in exports and a fall in imports.

"PM Modi in the August 2020 edition of Mann ki Baat spoke about toy manufacturing in India. It infused energy in our industry and many people opened startups. Grand-scale manufacturing commenced after people got inspired by his words," Kapoor, who is also managing director of Kreative Kids International, told ANI.

"In last three years, the government imposed customs duty on cheap imports, bad quality toys which used to come from China. Stopping Chinese goods import resulted in the reduction of import by 70 per cent," he added.

He said PM Modi played a significant role, encouraged toy manufacturing industry for domestic production.

"Earlier 90 per cent of toys were dumped from China but now most of them getting manufactured in India. We're receiving orders from abroad too.

"When the government tested the imported toys, they failed in the quality test. The government had imposed restrictions and now we have a lot of support. New startups are coming in the toy industry," he said.

Referring to 13th Edition of Toy Biz B2B (Business to Business) International Exhibition held at Pragati Maidan from July 2 to 5, Kapoor said the event attracted 96 exhibitors with 'Made In India' product manufactured domestically by small, medium and large enterprises. Comparing the figure with last year, he said there were 116 participants and "90 were selling imported toys".

"Many foreign delegations have visited us including from Dubai, Africa, the USA and Bhutan. They placed bulk orders and certainly toy exports will increase," Kapoor said.

In this year's Toy Biz exhibition, the exhibitors showcased the diverse product category ranging from traditional toys, construction equipment toys, dolls, building block toys, board games, puzzles, electronic toys, educational toys and ride-ons .

Rajeev Batra, another toy manufacturer based in Delhi, told ANI said imports have come down substantially.

"The government has said that imports of toys are down by 70 per cent. I feel that the imports of toys are down by 80 per cent. Initially, we were compelled to sell toys made in China. But now, the situation has changed. We have seen changes in our path. The government is supporting Made-In-India products," Batra said.

He said government support is quite helpful as they are providing various incentives:Batra said India can soon replace China on a global level in terms of the growth of the toy industry.

Manu Gupta, who is also into manufacturing toys, said India-made toys are being accepted globally.

"Our exports have increased while imports have decreased. This means economy is becoming self-reliant. India-made toys are accepted globally. There are at least 20 toy-making industries that can produce high-quality toys in large quantities," he said.

[{f8d00f70-bbc3-4a75-a881-9efd4de98642:intradmin/gbshdbgchsbgdcfbvsdcsdc.jpg}]According to government data, for HS Codes 9503, 9504, and 9505, the value of import of toys in India fell from $371 million in the financial year 2018-19 to $110 million in the financial year 2021-22, showing a decline of 70.35 per cent. For the HS Code 9503, toy imports have decreased even faster, from $304 million in FY 2018-19 to $36 million in FY 2021-22 for HS Code 9503, according to data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

The exports have jumped by 61.38 per cent over the same period. For HS Codes 9503, 9504, and 9505, the export of toys has increased from $202 million in FY 2018-19 to $326 million in FY 2021-22, up by 61.39 per cent. For HS Code 9503, exports of toys have increased from $109 million in FY 2018-19 to $177 million in FY 2021-22.

Speaking to media during the 13th edition of Toy Biz B2B (Business to Business) International Exhibition, Anil Agrawal, Additional Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), highlighted the clarion call given by the prime minister on "Rebranding the Indian Toy Story".

The Prime Minister had emphasised on the availability of the right kind of toys for children, using toys as a learning resource, designing of toys based on the Indian value system, Indian history, and culture to strengthen the domestic design and position India as a global manufacturing hub for toys. (ANI)

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