Cash-rich ICC gets tax waiver for cricket world cup
The Union Cabinet on Thursday gave its approval for tax exemption to the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the ongoing world cup amid reservations expressed by some ministers on giving such concessions to the cash-rich body. Saroj Nagi reports.delhi Updated: Apr 01, 2011 00:36 IST
The Union Cabinet on Thursday gave its approval for tax exemption to the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the ongoing world cup amid reservations expressed by some ministers on giving such concessions to the cash-rich body.
The approval for tax exemption— of about R45 crore —was finally given as it met the provisions of the amended Income Tax act which allows such waivers to international sporting events recognised by the global body governing the sports and involves participation by more than two nations.
Moreover, the specified income has to be notified by the government.
“The exemption will be on the income arising in India from the ICC world cup 2011 to the subsidiaries of the ICC only where the contractual obligation to bear the income tax liabilities is on these entities,” said I&B Minister Ambika Soni.
Sources said the first to flag his objection at the cabinet meeting was sports minister Ajay Maken. He warned that such exemption would lead to commercialization of sports.
Even otherwise, he said, such facilities should be extended to football, hockey and other sports. Poverty alleviation minister Selja too wondered why the ICC should be given exemption. Joining the debate, Soni reportedly spoke on the issue of broadcasting rights in the context of the confrontation between the ICC and private channels which have been denied entry into the stadium.
Agriculture minister who also doubles up as ICC chief, however, kept quiet during the deliberations.
The final word on the issue came from Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee who stressed the importance of following the rule book and the law of the land — in this case the amended 2005 Income Tax Act which allowed the ICC to seek a waiver.