ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tennis Federation President Salim Saifullah Khan has come up with a novel idea to squeeze more money from people pockets through utility bills to fund sports federations.
Addressing a press conference, PTF president proposed that Rs10 sports tax should be introduced in the utility bills and the amount generated should be distributed among Olympics-bound federations, which could help Pakistan sports perform better without burdening the government.
PTF Patron Senator Dilawar Abbas and Senior Executive Vice President Iftikhar Rasheed were also present on the occasion. Demanding ‘at least Rs50 million’ for tennis promotion, Salim made usual tall claims that many federations made to make a mark on the international level.
“It is my promise we would do wonders,” he said and added in very limited recourses, Pakistan players have managed to win Asia-Oceania Group-II final against top seeds Chinese Taipei and with sufficient amount of funds they could make anything possible.
“We have invested a whopping Rs 20 million on different events and sending our teams for Davis Cup and other junior level events. We receive only Rs3 million annual grant from the PSB, which is not enough to pay even utility bills of the federation.”
He also criticised International Tennis Federation for not allowing Pakistan to host home ties, which resulted in huge expenditures as Pakistan had to play abroad.
He also thanked Turkey Tennis Federation President Turmus and his team for allowing Pakistan to play Davis Cup tie free of cost there.
He said Pakistan have reached in Davis Cup Group-I after a decade where they would face China and he would meet Chinese envoy in Islamabad to ask its players to play in Pakistan and also write to the ITF in this regard.
He also demanded of government to use diplomatic channels to persuade the ITF to let Pakistan host international tennis events at its home soil.
Salim said that PTF has nominated Senator Dilawar Abbas as Asian Tennis Federation board member while he himself would contest as ATF Game Development Committee Chairman.
The PTF president also requested multi-nationals and other private organisations to lend helping hand to the federation like Pakistan International Airlines which is providing free tickets to Pakistan players.
“I would also like to take opportunity and urge Navy and Railways to play active role as they are council members. KP government has started work on laying down six news tennis courts in Peshawar and it would serve a great deal in helping KP players to fulfill their potential. I would request Punjab Government to start work on new courts as well.
He also praised Pakistan Davis Cup team players and said would discuss the possibility of giving incentives to the winning team. Salim also hinted at replacing the PTF officials, who are not giving satisfactory performances.