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Friday, 16 November 2012

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Duty waiver to boost motor sports

The governing body for motor sports in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Automobile Sports (SLAS) thanked the government for granting an exemption of duty on racing cars.

This duty waiver is for purpose built single seater Formula Cars and Go Karts, classified as motor cars, eventhough thee cars cannot be registered nor driven on roads.


A Go Cart event in progress

SLAS said it appreciates President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Sports Minister Mahindanada Aluthgamage's keen interest in motor racing which is regarded as an expensive sport, but a crowd puller.

“In the recent past, we have had several drivers graduating from the Speedrome at Battaramulla which is the stepping stone from which they embark into competitive motor racing and the need to purchase affordable racing cars was a long felt need. There is an abundance of talent but due to the lack of affordable racing cars, the progress was slow. All Formula One drivers began their racing careed in Go Carts and Karting can easily be called the cradle of motor sports,” the SLAS President Pradeep Kavikara said.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his budget speech said foreign income from sports activities is estimated to be around US $ 50 million a year and is expected to be raised to US $ 500 million by 2016.

The budget proposal also states that a restriction on deducting 25 percent of advertising expenses will not apply to sponsorship of international sports events approved by the Sports Ministry. The concession will be applicable from August 1, 2012. Providing hotel accommodation to any sportsman, organiser of any sports event or sponsor arriving in Sri Lanka to participate in any sport event or activity in connection with sport will be exempt from VAT.

Sri Lanka is targeting to make some of the country's motor racing events recognised by international bodies similar to Singapore F1, Macau GP, Monte Carlo etc. which will create a complete festival, benefiting the national economy by attracting foreign investment and tourists.

SLAS aims to take this sport to provincial level and also an Indo-Lanka Championship where Lankan drivers will be given more international exposure. More international events will also be conducted, attracting a large crowd. An international Go Cart track will also be opened in Piliyandala in the near future.

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