Policy

Sports Minister attacks Govt's tax-break for ICC

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 01, 2011

Politicians, citizens and social activists have been vocal in their criticism of the Government's announcement of the Rs 45-crore tax break to the ICC World Cup. Some of them have termed the act “downright vulgar”.

The gesture came under attack from the Sports Minister, Mr Ajay Maken, himself, who felt that the cash-rich cricket body did not need it. It should have been used to promote other sports, he said.

Along with the Minister for Poverty Alleviation, Ms Kumari Selja, and the Information and Broadcasting Minister, Ms Ambika Soni, Mr Maken raised a red flag when the waiver issue came up at the Union Cabinet meeting chaired by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, on Thursday.

The ICC President and Agriculture Minister, Mr Sharad Pawar, who was present at the meeting, did not say anything.

“The tax exemption will be on the income arising in India from the ICC World Cup 2011 to the subsidiaries of the cricket body, only where the contractual obligation to bear the income-tax liabilities is on these entities,” Ms Soni told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

The exemption, however, will not cover the revenues of the global cricket body from sponsorships and telecast rights, which account for 72 per cent of its total income.

With cricket in India raking in the big bucks, the Government has been looking for ways to get a share of the income earned by the administrators as well as the players. A case in point has been the Indian Premier League (IPL) tournaments, where the taxman has been proactive in collecting taxes from cricket played in India. IPL is a 20-20 format.

>divyat@thehindu.co.in

Published on April 01, 2011

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