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India's leading trade association of sports and fitness industry The Traders Association of Sporting Goods and Physical Exercise Equipment (TASGPEE) on Thursday appealed to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council to keep the rates of sports goods and physical exercise equipment under the same tax regime of 12 percent.
"We welcome the fitment of rates of various goods approved during GST council meeting, however we would like to sincerely appeal to the council to also treat physical exercise equipment as part of sports goods with 12 percent GST rate," said President TASGPEE, Dinesh Kapoor in a statement.
GST Rate of 28 percent implies GST Council considers exercising and fitness equipments as luxury items. Association feels that GST rate of 28 percent on fitness equipment could impact sales by 25 percent.
Requesting to reconsider the GST rate on fitness equipment, Dinesh Kapoor said, "We strongly feel that India as a country has a long way to go in sports field globally. So it's essential that we promote a health oriented ecosystem and society. Also, alarming rate of lifestyle diseases gripping our nation requires us to urgently promote a healthy lifestyle, for which fitness equipment plays an important role and it should not be treated as a luxury. We are hopeful that the council will take a cognizance of the issue and we humbly request it to reconsider the GST rate on fitness equipment."
Arguing that GST rate of 28 percent could adversely impact fitness industry, which is at nascent stage and growing at 16 to 18 percent annually, Kapoor said, "The rate of 28 percent makes essential exercising and fitness equipment out of the reach of the common man. Thus, fitness industry, which is at nascent stage and as per industry estimates is worth around Rs. 500 crore and is growing at 16 to 18 percent annually. The association expects GST rate of 28 percent could impact the sales by 25 percent and may also impact people's health."
However, other than articles and equipments for general physical exercise, the Council fixed rate of 28 percent.
"With the government vision of "Khelega India, Khilega India", it signifies that sport is the key activity for development of a human being. And after India's proposal of International Yoga Day to United Nations, it is celebrated worldwide every year on 21st June. This also signifies India's efforts on international stage for a healthy world, thereby we believe keeping this sentiments government will seriously consider our recommendation," added Kapoor.
Supporting the demand of Association Dronachaya Awardee, Bhupender Dhawan said, "For a sportsperson, fitness is the most important aspect as it the most crucial thing for their performance and career. Fitness equipments are an integral part of a sportsperson's daily life and we feel that government should consider it keeping affordable.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)