Prime Minister Modi’s monthly “Mann Ki Baat” address has always had subtle underlinings of his plans to tackle the burning issues faced by the country. The Prime Minister announced a clarion call for making India a toy manufacturing hub as he seeks to end Chinese dominance in the toy market.
As border tensions continue to escalate between India and China, India has taken up a slew of measures to hurt China on the economic front be it the banning of Chinese apps or tweaking the FDI norms to block Chinese investment in Indian companies, the Central government is actively looking to end India’s reliance on China. The latest measure involves the toy market, which unlike its name, is no child’s play.
The Prime Minister noted that India has a minuscule standing in the global toy market which is worth over Rs 7 lakh crore as he urged the startups entrepreneurs to “team up for toys”.
Even before the Prime Minister’s address, steps were being taken to make India a toy manufacturing hub. In the New Education Policy 2020, students will now be introduced to toy-making from the sixth standard, as the Indian government’s scales up its efforts to boost the toy-making industry.
India’s toy market is worth $1.7 billion and unfortunately, 85-90 percent toys sold in the country are made in China, mainly because Chinese products are much more cheaper. The government plans to teach the students the art of toy making through workshops, local craftsmen and visits to manufacturing factories.
Just a couple of days after PM Modi’s Mann Ki Baat address, the UP government has received 92 requests from domestic toy manufacturers to set up units at the upcoming toy manufacturing hub near Jewar airport in Greater Noida.
Arun Vir Singh, CEO of the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority said, “Once the entire 100 acre is allotted, we are expecting investment up to Rs 3000 crore. The response is good in the first phase and allotment will be done within 15 days.”
He added, “There were 155 plots of different sizes and we have received 92 applications. Allotment will be done after scrutinising the applications and call on another scheme for the remaining plots will be taken by the board.”
Close on the heels of UP, Karnataka has also announced a Rs 5,000-crore toy cluster in Koppal with the authorities estimating that the hub will create 25,000 jobs once operational.
It is pertinent to note that India back in December 2019, has increased the import duty on toys from China. Recently, the Central government has announced that beginning September, toy products which conform to the BIS quality norms will be allowed to enter the country, thus clearly taking aim at cheap and poor quality Chinese products.