Dharamsala, December 26: Sports goods manufacturers Wednesday demanded a lower GST of 5 per cent for the sector from the existing 12-18 per cent, noting that the government had promised to keep the new tax rates similar to earlier VAT rates.

The existing 18 per cent and 12 per cent GST on sports goods should be reduced to 5 percent, the convenor of sports industry body Khel Udyog Sangharsh Samiti (KUSS), Ravindra Dhir, said while addressing mediapersons here. 31st GST Council Meet: Computer Monitors, Power Banks to be Brought Under 18% Slab.

The central government had assured before implementing GST on July 1 that the GST slab would be around that of the value added tax (VAT) on related items, the KUSS claimed.

On the contrary, it imposed 28 per cent GST on physical fitness, gymnastic and athletic goods and 12 per cent GST on other sports goods whereas VAT on all sports goods had been nil in Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and only 5 per cent in Punjab, Dhir contended.

Sports industrialists especially those located in Jalandhar have formed KUSS and have been spearheading the agitation against the Centre for a cut in GST on sports goods to 5 per cent, he added.

He noted that the Centre a few month ago reduced GST on physical fitness, gymnastic and athletic goods from 28 per cent to 18 per cent, but the industry is asking for a uniform 5 per cent GST for all sports goods.

The industry group has intentionally selected Dharamshala for holding their press conference a day before Prime Miinister Narendra Modi's rally here so that their demand of reducing GST on sports goods may be heard properly.