Exemption of GST on Sports
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The Goods and Services Tax is revolutionary and will no doubt contribute to a better economy of the nation. However, may we point out that there are certain sectors where the high rate of GST may affect growth in some areas. One of these is sports.
Population and global sports ranking of India
India has an estimated population of over 1343447674. It would be obvious to infer that with such a large population India can produce sportspersons of the highest caliber and athletes that would shine and bring in medals. The ground reality is different. Whether it is Olympics and athletic performance or games, India lags far behind the world.
In hockey and cricket it is in the top five but in other games India does not have a praiseworthy rank. In volleyball India is ranked 30th. In football it has a lowly ranking of 166 and so on for other sports. There are several reasons for such dismal performance. One of these is the availability of sports training facility and availability of sports equipments, specifically in urban, semi-urban and rural areas.
Schools are where children get to become actively engaged in sports and athletic activities. However, not many schools can afford full facilities and offer all the equipments needed for training and practice. GST and an enhanced rate of taxation will only result in such schools cutting their budget. In teenagers and adults the practice of attending gyms or private clubs to engage in fitness activities and games will decline still further as such establishments charge more or reduce their infrastructure.
Development activities in sports in rural and semi-urban areas will be affected as centers in these areas are already budget constrained and the higher rate of GST will only push up prices putting sports equipments beyond reach. The net result of facilities and equipments for sports becoming more expensive is that facilities will reduce and interest of people in these activities will decline. It will lead to more health issues not to speak of worsening performance in international sports arenas.
India needs to take pride not only in its economic growth on the world stage but also in the sports arena. For this to happen there need to be more facilities, better world class sports equipments and trainers available that would lead to training of youth to compete at global levels.
High GST will curb such activities as facilities and equipments reduce but if GST is reduced or even abolished then it would encourage individuals to buy sports equipments, local clubs to invest in more equipments and training centers to buy better and more equipments. This would certainly lead to greater engagement of population in sports.
The result will be that India will perform better in the world of sports. It will also result in a fitter, healthier population which, in turn, will mean better performance on the economic front as it is known that a healthy body and mind mean better productivity. A side benefit is that it will give a fillip to manufacturers of sports equipments and generate employment.
It is our humble request that the Ministry seriously consider our request and exempt coaching services, gyms, equipments and accessories from GST. We are sure the Government can make up for the deficit in revenues through other sources. Sports is a priority because health is related to physical activities and performance of a nation depends on health of its people.
Your kind consideration would greatly contribute to India’s overall sporting performance and health and we hope you will use your wisdom to do the needful.
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