SPEND INDIA, SPEND!
Purchasing boats has never been this easy and affordable. Over 60 years after independence, India is spending. The recent 10% reduction in Customs Duty is a good reason to buy that Dreamboat.
Ever since the import of leisure crafts have come under the Open General Licence system, the much-dreaded Customs Duty has further reduced from 35% to 25% and is expected to go down further in the next budget plan.
The government has, in the past, implemented taxes and duties, penalizing the private individual in order to deter and discourage foreign and luxury goods from entering the Indian market. Up until now, the privilege of yachting and sailing as a sport could only be enjoyed by the armed forces and a few elites. The armed forces, though, had greater leaning toward the sports and adventure side of pleasure boating, while elites of the world were exempt because they could afford it.
Even as late as the early ‘90s, Customs Duties on luxury and foreign products hovered at a forbidding 150%. At that time, there were a total of 4 boat owners in the country. Currently, there are over 150 luxury-boat and super-luxury yacht owners just in Mumbai alone.
A case in point is that the total number of boats that have entered the Indian market in 54 years since 1947 up to 2003 is more or less equal to the number of boats that have entered the Indian market in five years from 2003 till 2008.
Though the world was engrossed in the economical meltdown during 2007 & 2008, India showed an import of the largest number of luxury yachts, and in fact, some of the largest boats have been bought during this period. This is a clear indicator that reduction in Duty has in a way contributed largely towards making the boating and yachting experiences more affordable.
A simple step in Duty reduction has put this industry in India at a substantial growth rate. The government’s move has acted as an engine for growth not only in ownership within India of yacht and boat owners, but has resulted in greater employment generation, and more business for other support industries such as service and maintenance.
From this we can only take back a positive message of the government’s enthusiasm to see its people spend.