New Delhi: In a relief to India’s toy industry, the government on Wednesday extended the enforcement of compulsory certification by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for toys to January 1, 2021 from September 1, 2020.“This decision allows domestic manufacturers four months of extra time to make necessary arrangements for compliance of standards in view of difficulties arising out of Covid-19 pandemic,” the commerce and industry ministry said in a statement.The order mandates all toys and materials designed or intended for use in play by children below 14 years of age to be certified by the BIS.The move came in the wake of a study by the Quality Council of India (QCI) revealing that 67% of imported toys failed a testing survey, which prompted an aggressive push to produce safe toys in the country. Imports from China and Taiwan account for around 90% of the domestic toy market. The government is keen push to local manufacturing is significant as the toy industry in India is primarily in the unorganised sector, comprising around 4,000 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Dolls and playing cards to videogame consoles and board games are all considered toys.Prime Minister Narendra Modi too emphasised on toy manufacturing in the country under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative. In his radio address ‘Mann Ki Baat’, he called upon startup entrepreneurs to “team up for toys”, saying it was time to get vocal for local toys.
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