After the imposition of GST on sports equipment, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has decided to approach the finance ministry and reiterate the concerns surrounding the shooting community so that they are not affected by the rise in price.
This concern comes on the backdrop of inclusion of sports goods under the high tax slabs of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
NRAI president Raninder Singh spoke to PTI in an interview and said, “We have taken it up officially with the Finance Ministry and are hopeful of an early resolution to the issue. NRAI will do everything in its power to ensure that the athletes and the sport are not adversely affected.”
Coach of the Indian junior pistol team, Jaspal Rana said, “Imposing GST on sports goods will act as an obstacle, especially to those who are financially weak. Instead of encouraging the athletes who can bring glory to the country, you are imposing an additional unnecessary burden of 18-28 percent of GST on sports equipment.”
“Parents of aspiring shooters coming from not-so well-to-do families buy equipment after taking loans from banks or borrow money, just imagine what will they do now. These equipment are not produced in India, they have to be imported, so how will an athlete from a poor family manage.”, he added.
Raising concerns on behalf of the athletes, he said, “I don’t see any step being taken in this regard by the federation or the government. About the problems faced by the sportsman till now, none from the government or federation has expressed concern on the social media or any other platform. Whereas our sports minister has enough spare time to inaugurate a range of five lanes.”
“As I have already spoken on the day of the NRAI elections held recently, 18 percent GST imposed on all imports including duty-free imports will definitely have an adverse impact on the shooting sport. All world-class equipment needed in the sport needs to be imported and were till now part of the customs duty free list. A steep imposition of 18 percent is sure to affect a majority of athletes who are vying to bring glory to the country. Weapons and equipments used in shooting sports are imported from countries such as Germany, Italy and UK.”, he concluded.