Indian sports industry could reel under the burden of GST | other sports | Hindustan Times
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Indian sports industry could reel under the burden of GST

Entrepreneurs in the field feel that sports goods should have been listed in the 5 % slab of the GST. Currently they pay 2 % tax while the government’s latest circular has increased the slab to 12 %.

other sports Updated: Jun 12, 2017 00:26 IST
HT Correspondent
There is no concession given to sports goods (in GST), which is a thriving cottage industry in India.
There is no concession given to sports goods (in GST), which is a thriving cottage industry in India.(Getty Images)

The government decision to categorise the sports goods industry in the 12-28 % slab under the Goods and Service Tax (GST), to be implemented from July 1, has drawn flak from all quarters.

Entrepreneurs in the field feel that sports goods should have been listed in the 5 % slab. Currently they pay 2 % tax while the government’s latest circular has increased the slab to 12 %.

Ashutosh Bhalla, director of Vinex Enterprises Pvt Ltd, said on the one hand the government plans to make sports mandatory in schools --- a step towards inculcating sports culture, on the other, there is no concession given to sports goods, which is a thriving cottage industry. “All stakeholders should join hands to improve sports awareness in the country,” he told HT over phone from Meerut. “Sports equipment will become more expensive,” he added.

Rakesh Mahajan, chairman of All India Sports Goods Manufacturers’ Federation, had appealed to the government to support the industry, mainly based in the Meerut region of Uttar Pradesh and Jalandhar in Punjab.

“To make high quality equipment, we need support from the government. The current move might have a negative impact on the growth of the industry. There are more than 1000 registered units and another 1500 cottage units in villages,” said Mahajan.

Mahajan said high-quality imported javelins, used by the likes of world junior champion Neeraj Chopra, cost in excess of Rs.1 lakh, adding that the same can be manufactured in India at cheaper rates provided the government gives support.

Krishna Poonia, the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games discus champion, says there shouldn’t be any tax on sports goods. “We should make quality equipment available to youngsters at the grassroots and not when they reach the top. If you start with ordinary equipment, chances are it will have an impact on your technique,” she said.

Shaji Prabhakaran, the former South Asian regional football development officer, said there should be tax relaxation to draw people to come and enjoy sports. “We have to think differently to encourage sports,” he said.