Ravi Shastri Audi duty was waived due to his excellent performance in the Benson and Hedges Cup win in Australia. Ravi Shastri, the recipient of the 40,000 Australian dollar Audi car for being named the player of the tournament, may just manage to avoid paying a heavy 200 percent duty if the central government shows the necessary benevolence.
Indian all-rounder Ravi Shastri has been spared the freight charges through the kind gesture of the state-owned Shipping Corporation of India, which has decided to ship the car to Ravi free of charge. This will save him between $1,800 and $2000. Announcing the decision, the chairman of the SCI, Vice Admiral R.K.S. Gandhi, said the company had decided to bring the car freight-free in “appreciation of the splendid performance of the Indian team throughout the series.” But the problems begin after the car reaches India.
The customs duty on the Audi could be between Rs. 7-8 lakhs, and the decision whether to collect this amount or not rests with the union government. It will be recalled that a similar problem arose when tennis star Vijay Amritraj won a Volvo car about a decade ago. The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs had then made a grant to Amritraj to enable him to pay the duty. A similar grant could be made to Shastri for the customs duty that cannot be waived according to the rules.