Sports Minister MS Gill has requested Finance Minister P Chidambaram to extend duty exemption to air pellets, saying such a move would help the country unearth champion shooters in the future.
In a letter to the Finance Minister, Gill thanked him for exempting, in the previous budget, the import of air weapons by renowned shooters from any customs duty.
However, he rued the absence of such concession to import of air pellets, saying, it has become quite unaffordable for most of the upcoming shooters.
Gill said India has emerged as a shooting powerhouse and cited Abhinav Bindra's gold medal feat at the Beijing Olympics as a testimonial to the fact.
"In view of the growing popularity of shooting as a sport among the young generation, it would be highly desirable to extend duty exemption to air pellets on the same lines as has been done in case of air weapons," Gill wrote.
The Sports Minister also cited that Member of Parliament Naveen Jindal, himself a shooter, has been pursuing the same issue for quite a while.
"After consultation with all the stakeholders, including National Rifle Association of India, I have no hesitation in endorsing their request," Gill said.
"This step will go a long way in promoting shooting in the country and help in generating many champions," he added.