Sports goods manufacturers on Monday demanded excise duty waiver on their products on the pattern of apparel industry, which has been granted exemption in the recent budget.
“The government has already granted excise duty exemption to apparel industry in the recent budget foregoing huge amount of revenue and it is need of the hour that we must strongly put our case for exemption,” a veteran leader of sports goods manufacturers of the city, Ramesh Chander Kohli told Hindustan Times.
The sports industry was relocated to India after the Partition and the main centres of production are in Meerut in Uttar Pradesh and Jalandhar in Punjab, Kohli said, adding that by sheer hard work and risks taken by entrepreneurs, the sports industry is now enjoying a reasonably good stature.
There was no excise duty on sports goods as the industry was enjoying exemption, being a small-scale industry, but on March 1, 2011, excise duty was levied on about 130 exemption entries, Kohli said.
In the 2012 budget, the excise duty was arbitrarily increased from 1% to 2%, Kohli said, adding that the present status is that the sports industry, both at Meerut and Jalandhar, is being charged 1% excise duty plus cess on all items of sports goods.
Rajesh Kharbanda, one of the leading manufacturer of sports goods, said there are around 40 manufacturers of sports goods in Jalandhar and Meerut, which are registered with the central excise department and out of these, the total revenue under excise is nearly Rs. 20 crores per annum.
In the recent budget, a number of industries have been given total exemption from excise duty, including articles of apparel, clothing accessories and other articles like warm clothing and worn textile articles, he said, adding that in a nutshell this covers the entire readymade garments industry and now there is no excise duty levied on all these products.
“Our sports goods industry is very small with about 400-500 units registered as micro, small and medium enterprises and around 3,000-4,000 tiny/cottage units as unregistered and scattered in villages around Jalandhar and Meerut,” Kharbanda said while demanding complete waiver of excise duty on sports goods.
On behalf of the sports industry of Jalandhar and Meerut, a delegation of sports goods manufacturers comprising RC Kohli (Beat All Sports, Jalandhar), Trilok Anand (SG Sports, Meerut), Pran Chadha (Universal Sports Industries, Jalandhar), Rakesh Kohli (Stag International, Meerut) and Rakesh Mahajan (BDM Sports, Meerut) had recently organised a meeting to finalise the strategy of the industry to demand exemption from excise duty.
The delegation also met union law minister Ashwani Kumar, who assured to take up the issue with union finance minister P Chidambaram.
On March 14, the delegation of the sports industry would meet the union secretary (finance/revenue) Sumit Bose to apprise him of the demands of the industry.