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Sports good manufacturers discontented with state budget
June, 26th 2012

Punjab finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa's tax free budget has not cut much ice with sports good manufacturers.

Their long-pending demand of doing away with VAT for sports goods has not been met this time too. Though, 40 crore have been earmarked for Punjab institute of sports at Jalandhar, nothing much has been done for workers employed with sports good industry. The 1,000 crore industry has been struggling and facing stiff competition from Meerut nationally and from China internationally.

The biggest hurdle being the lack of new technology in manufacturing goods, which has hit the industry badly here. "We have been pleading to the state government to do away with VAT, as UP did since 2008, to give boost to the industry but nothing has been done," said Jyoti Sharma owner of Spartan, a Jalandhar-based sports good manufacturing company. The Punjab government increased VAT from 4% to 5.5 % in 2009.

For sportspersons, a bonanza of 2.25 crore, 1.5 crore and 51 lakh for gold, silver and bronze Olympic winners has been announced, but for daily wagers, who toil day in and day out, there is hardly anything. However, scholarship (1.5 cr) will be awarded to 100 sportspersons in 13 disciplines. There has been an additional provision of Rs 13 crore for playgrounds in 1,233 villages and Rs10 crore has been earmarked for synthetic hockey surfaces in district stadiums.

FC Sondhi and Company India Pvt Ltd managing director Anurag Sondhi said, "It is good to support athletes and budding players but the government should also help industry to do well and provide new technology to perform us better."

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