NRAI welcomes new guidelines for shooters


New Delhi: The National Rifle Association of India Friday welcomed the new guidelines of the sports ministry rationalising the procedures for import of weapons and ammunition for shooters, saying it will save valuable time for the marksmen and enhance their performance.

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As per the new guidelines, the shooters can directly approach the regional authority of the Director General Foreign Trade (DGFT) after obtaining the recommendations of NRAI for import of weapons and ammunition. Their import license applications will no longer have to be routed through ministry of youth affairs and sports (MYAS).

NRAI secretary general Baljit Singh Sethi said it will save “precious time” for the shooters.

“There were so many agencies involved for the clearance of weapons and ammunition. It was very time consuming for the shooters. It took around 5-6 months and sometimes even 8-9 months for the weapons and ammunition to reach the shooters.

“I am happy that now the shooters can directly approach DGFT. It will be far more easier for the shooters. Now it should not take more than 15 days for the applications to be cleared and they can receive their consignment within 3-4 months.

“A shooter needs time to adjust to a new weapon. He has to get used to his weapon before he can get the confidence to shoot at a major competition. So when he gets the consignment quickly, the performance will also enhance.”

Sethi also said the provision to increase the scale of the ammunition would be of big help to the shooters.

The sports ministry said as some shooters may participate in two or more events, higher quota for import of ammunition with custom duty exemption may be provided.

A “renowned” shooter participating in one event can now import upto 15,000 cartridges per year while the scale is 20,000 cartridges per year for shooters participating in two events and 25,000 cartridges per year for shooters participating in more than two events.

“The present practice of MYAS issuing Custom Duty Exemption Certificate may be dispensed with and a suitable provision may be made for automatic grant of custom duty exemption on the basis of self-certification by the shooter along with the documentary evidence in respect of import of weapons/ammunition,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said a committee under joint secretary (Sports) examined the existing procedures and decided to liberalise the procedure.

“The orders to this effect has been issued by the ministry Friday.”

“The issue was examined after receipt of representations from the shooters that the existing procedure for import of arms and ammunition is very time consuming and causes escalation of cost of import, as well as shortages of weapons/ammunition and thereby, adversely affect the training and practice regime.

Furthermore, the guidelines for resale of weapons imported by shooters is unduly restrictive.”

At present, the departments/agencies involved in the process of granting permission for import of weapons and ammunition and resale of used weapons by renowned shooters are: National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) , DGFT and the ministries of youth affairs and sports, commerce home and finance and the department of revenue.