Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Feb 18 (ANI): The toy industry is in turmoil with hundreds of retailers protesting against the government's decision to increase import duty from 20 per cent to 60 per cent.
The United Toys Association says there has been 500 per cent hike in import duty on toys in the past two years and more than five lakh workers face the risk of losing their jobs.
"The increase in import duty will lead up to 100 per cent surge in retail price of toys in India, which means a toy costing Rs 500 will be priced at Rs 800 to 1,000 after the hike in import duty, raising the burden on customer's pocket," said Farooq M Shabdi, President of United Toys Association.
The most impacted range will be innovative toys which include STEM toys, robots, flying toys, radio- controlled and battery-operated toys. Domestic manufacturers need to import components as they are not made locally, he said.
The government should treat toys as an essential commodity for 30 crore children up to the age of 14 years, akin to educational books. "Today's toys are educational tools, promoting STEM development, role-play, coding and developing cognitive skills for the newly emerging India," said Shabdi.