India has banned imports of toys from China, its biggest trade partner, for six months, news reports said Saturday.
India's Directorate General of Foreign Trade Friday issued an order barring the toy imports, but gave no reason for the decision, the Indian Express daily reported.
Indian news channels, citing sources, reported that the government's move was prompted by a rise in imports of toys and job losses in the sector dpa.
Another concern was over the safety of children playing with the Chinese toys which were earlier found to be toxic.
In 2007, Chinese-made toys were recalled from the United States following concerns over excessive amount of lead paint.
According to industry estimates, Chinese toys account for half of India's toy market. According to government data, India imported more than 200 million dollars worth of toys from April to November 2008.
In the face of the global economic crisis, the Indian toy industry was seeking government protection from Chinese competition.
Toy Association of India President Raj Kumar said the Indian authorities had taken the decision in the interest of the economy.
"We welcome the decision. It is good for the industry," he said.