New Delhi: Golf is the fastest growing sport in India but is not really accessible to everyone for it remains a lifestyle sport requiring high investment and streamlining of custom duty, VAT and service tax to turn into a mass sport.
Rahul Singh, CEO, BTB, sole licensee for Greg Norman (India)
In recent years, golfing equipment, apparel and accessories have increasingly appealed to a broader group of consumers. Golf lifestyle sportswear is now sold not only to avid golfers but also to consumers who identify with the lifestyle associated with golf and similar leisure activities.
* Reduce custom duty on golf equipment: Reduction in custom duty on golf equipment will help promote the game in the country and make it accessible to a larger base
* Reduce VAT on accessories: Reducing VAT on golf bags and hats from 12.5% to that of clothing/apparel which is 4% will bring uniformity in the rate of VAT across product lines and will help synchronize sales processes
* Abolish service tax on rentals: The levy of service tax on rentals being charged for retail stores has aggravated the matter for retailers. They are subjected to service tax levy on security, storage and warehousing, commission and collection agents’ services and transport services which becomes a significant additional cost
Abolishing service tax on already exorbitant rentals being charged for retail stores will help in liberalizing and rationalizing retail tax environment, besides aiding growth of organized retail.
* Develop and upgrade existing public golf courses: India has under 300 courses compared with about 25,000 in the US. The sport can grow much faster if there are municipal golf courses so that access to the game is easy. This will take golf to a higher platform, not only as a business but also as a sport.
Rahul Singh is CEO, BTB, the sole licensee for Greg Norman Collection in India