Indian equestrian to gain from the Budget 2023–24

Indian equestrian to gain from the Budget 2023–24

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According to Col Jaiveer Singh, secretary general of the Equestrian Federation of India, the government's decision to eliminate the import tax on warmblood horses would assist to raise the level of the sport in the nation by allowing Indian riders to purchase premium mounts at competitive costs.

A range of middle-weight horse breeds and kinds known as warmbloods predominantly hail from Europe. Unlike the Indian breed Kathiawari, they have a lively disposition and are excellent in equestrian disciplines including dressage, showjumping, and eventing.

"The Indian breed is called Kathiawari but due to their size and temperament, they are not suited for equestrian sports," Singh told PTI. "Now with the exemption, individuals can buy more expensive and better quality horses. Existing standards will improve with the import of better quality and grade horses," Singh said.

A rider's horse is crucial in equestrian sports. For a shooter, it would be like a rifle, and for a tennis player it would be like a racquet. It is tough for an individual rider to pursue the sport since a quality warmblood costs at least Rs 40 lakh and the importer must pay a 30% Basic Customs Duty, 12% Integrated Goods and Services (IGST), and 10% Social Welfare Surcharge.

So, a horse that is supposed to cost Rs. 40 lahks would really cost Rs. 61 lahks, and when the cost of transportation is included, it almost costs Rs. According to Singh, the exemption will result in a 52 percent cost reduction.

The government said on Wednesday that it will no longer charge import duties for warmblood horses beginning on February 2, 2023, as the EFI has requested since 2020. Only eminent athletes will, however, be granted the exemption, which was authorised for five years in the yearly budget.

The National Sports Code of India states that Arjuna Awardees, athletes who placed eighth or higher in individual events or fourth or higher in team events at open National Championships or National Games, and junior athletes who placed eighth or higher in individual events or fourth or higher in team events at national competitions all qualify as athletes.

Singh is optimistic that the action will affect the nation's equestrian community more broadly.

"More people will take up the sport since it is still in the nascent stage of development in India with lots of promise at the international level," he added.

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