MUMBAI: In a fight to ensure that children don’t lose access to toys, Indian toy traders, retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers have joined hands to create the All India Toys Federation (AITF). Their mission – to raise their voice against the hike of import duty on toys to India.
“The import duty on foreign toys is a direct attack on the development of Indian children, denying them the right to play, learn and grow. Our current manufacturing capabilities can only support 15% of demand for toys – the remaining 85% comes through imports. The hike in import duties on toys in this year’s budget can make them unaffordable for our customers”, said Farooq Shabdi, President of United Toys Association (UTA).
The UTA and other 24 toy associations from all over India have so far joined the ranks of the All India Toys Federation (AITF). “We aim to raise a voice against the levy of import duty, BIS order by the government and the betterment of our industry as a whole”, said Abdullah Sharif, Vice President of AITF. More toy associations are joining this umbrella for the common cause to ensure that children don’t lose access to toys.
The Mumbai-based federation represents participants at different levels within the Indian toy industry. Apart from raising a voice against the current import duty levies, it will be a platform where all of these toy makers and sellers can meet, discuss and debate on issues that impact them and raise their grievances and concerns on a macro level.
AITF will have trade representatives at different hubs on an all-India scale. The federation will make representations to the government and other regulatory authorities as and when required.
The AITF represents the Indian toy industry, which projects to grow $3.3 billion by 2024, driven by a huge consumer base. With changing times, parents and children have moved towards innovative electronic toys, intelligent toys, plush toys and role-play oriented sets. Educational toys, ride-on, construction and building sets, dolls and board games also find equal favor.
It is, however, going through a challenging phase – the global slowdown, stagnant domestic demand, and tariffs have seen traders, retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers incur massive losses and their very livelihoods.
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