New Delhi: To give a boost to the sports sector in India, Ficci on Sunday asked the government to grant industry status to the segment and allow systematic involvement of the private sector.

Granting of such a status will facilitate easier borrowing overseas, ability to raise domestic funds through institutional lending, tax-free bonds and tax concessions.

It would also "enable the government to monitor charges levied for the use of the facilities and their maintenance to ensure that these are affordable by a majority of the population."

In a representation to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Ficci asked to clearly define the sports industry and incorporation of all legal and commercial framework.

It also asked for classification of sports and giving it industry status, the industry body said in a statement.

"Taking into account the global norms, and factoring in the unique nature of sports in India, a hybrid yet comprehensive definition for sports industry is (required).

This will help clarify industry's role in sports," it said.

No private sector as a stakeholder at present

At present, there is no direct mention of private sector as a stakeholder in any sports-specific regulation or law, including the Draft National Sports (Development) Bill 2011 or the National Sports Development Code of India, 2011, it said.

The chamber has proposed a definition which says, "Sports Industry means any sponsor, corporate entity, legal person, broadcaster, or any other individual or entity involved in promoting, developing, and/or investing, either directly or indirectly, in sports-related activities in India."

It said this definition should be used in all legal or government led initiatives and documentation.

The chamber also said industry status would help increase the contribution of a particular sport to the GDP.

"For example, Cricket in India is by far the most lucrative sport, with revenue estimates across the various formats and forums extending to approximately Rs 15,000 crore annually. As sports grow in India across a broad-based forum, each sport will be likely to contribute to the GDP in differing yet significant ways," it added.

The other benefits that will flow from such a step include improvement of private sector investment which is not happening to its potential at present.

"A self-sufficient and organised sports industry with business and revenue flows will help encourage innovation, professionalisation of sports boost investment and improve market access for the sporting businesses," it said.

Further, Ficci also underlined the need to formulate a FDI policy for the sector.

FDI will brings modern technology and best managerial practices, it said adding it will help in bridging investment gaps in the sector.

It also suggested the ministry to commence discussions on the topics like streamlining and activating PPP models in sports infrastructure and events.


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