Brand India is getting affected by bureaucratic hurdles, says Karun

Greater Noida, PTI | Updated : 24 October 2013, 07:16 PM

The bureaucratic hurdles and the legal formalities, which played a part in the scrapping of the 2014 edition of the Indian Grand Prix, have affected the "brand India", ace driver Karun Chandhok lamented on Thursday.

F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone had cited 'political' problems in conducting the race in India and eventually it was dropped from the calendar and now faces an uncertain future.

The government does not recognise F1 as a sport and the promoters JPSI conduct the race on their own. The state government recently withdrew the exemption on entertainment tax and today a PIL was filed to put a stay on the conduct of the race.

Chandhok, who is only the second driver from India to make it to the F1 grade, said all these hurdles put together give a bad name to the country.

"All of this (is frustrating). We are used to stay orders, PILs but not these people. So what they are going to write. How we are going to attract investment. The international media is going write all these things. It does not help, I think brand India is getting affected. People
should not underestimate the power of F1 and power of sport," Chandhok said.

"For the teams and drivers it is a big headache to reach here. They have to make a separate contract because of taxation laws and the paper work involved. You need to have an extra lawyer for the Indian GP. The bureaucratic process is so big and it should not be.

"At the end of the day, F1 is still not classified as a sport even though Jaypee have invested all the money with no cost to the government. I understand India has big socio-economic issues but there are things like we have 700 journalists coming here and I had at least 75 of them mailing me they could not get visa in time. These are people who are going to other parts of the country and write about our country," he said.

First Published: Thursday, October 24, 2013 07:14 PM
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