India has moved a step towards securing its return to the formula one calendar.
New Delhi hosted three races between 2011 and last year, but the grand prix will be absent from the Buddh circuit this season.
Many believe the unsupportive government’s strict import laws, meaning cars and equipment are mandatorily held up in customs and subject to hefty duties, contributed to the demise of F1 in India.
But news this week indicates that the country may be paving the road for the return of the Indian grand prix.
The Times of India reports that race equipment will no longer be treated as normal imported cargo, so long as the equipment leaves the country within 30 days.
The foreign trade department confirmed the news.
“The decision will be music to the ears of (race promoter) Jaypee … who have been struggling to deal with rising import duties while organising the Indian grand prix over the last three years,” read the Times of India report.
Jaypee chief Sameer Gaur confirmed: “It appears to be a positive development for automobile racing in India. We cannot, however, say more without studying the (department’s) order.”
And Indian motor sport federation chief Vicky Chandhok added: “I welcome this decision to modify the import policy for cars and bikes for racing events.
“This will pave the way for India to host many more world class international motor sport events.”