BSFI seeks GST relief from FM

BSFI seeks GST relief from FM

Body feels 28% tax on cue sport goods is heavy, unjust

The Billiards and Snooker Federation of India has urged the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to reduce the Goods and Service Tax (GST) imposed on cue sports equipment.

The GST classifies sporting goods under the 12 per cent category but strangely cue sports has been categorised in the 28 per cent bracket, as it has been clubbed with parlour and video games.

A direct impact of this will be on the cueists looking to upgrade since purchace of equipment will now drill a larger hole in their pockets, BSFI said.

Speaking to DH, Secretary of the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India (BSFI), S Balasubramaniam, said the 16 per cent difference could discourage upcoming players.

“It is a massive difference from the 12 per cent cap that is applicable to other sports. Players look to constantly upgrade in the sport and this difference will have them thinking twice.”

“The average price of a cue that any of the top National players use will be in the range of Rs 25,000 so you can imagine the excess they will have to pay with steep difference,” he said.

The BSFI, on Monday, sent a letter to Jaitley requesting him to review the case and classify cue sports in the 12 per cent category.

It pointed out that the sport has produced several world champions, including Wilson Jones, Michael Ferreira, Geet Sethi and Pankaj Advani, besides winning several medals on the international stage over the years.

Case of oversight

Balasubramaniam was of the opinion that the decision could be a case of oversight since the general tendency is to associate the sport with ‘cue parlours’, which are generally viewed as a form of recreation or entertainment.

“The sport is recognised by the Department of Youth Empowerment and Service (DYES), so I do not understand how the taxes vary only for cue sports.

“Our federation president will be in Delhi sometime next week and we hope that after his meeting with ministry officials, there will be a re-classification,” he revealed.

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