For now, you won’t have to pay more to watch an Indian Premier League (IPL) match at Wankhede or any other stadium in the state.
The state’s decision to charge an entertainment tax between 20 and 25 per cent on T-20 matches organized by the IPL has been suspended as the cabinet is in split over a decision to tax cricket matches.
On Thursday, state finance minister Sunil Tatkare from the Nationalist Congress Party, said the decision to levy tax was withdrawn as the cricket fan would have to pay this burden by coughing up more for the tickets.
However, revenue minister Narayan Rane, whose department proposed the levy told Hindustan Times that no decision had been taken so far on the issue.
“During the last cabinet, we did not confirm the minutes and had kept the decision to levy the tax pending. We still have to deliberate on this. The tax has not been withdrawn so far,” said Rane. The state government has announced that it would levy tax on the total revenue generated from ticket sales in its cabinet meeting in January.
Announcing the tax, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan had said, “IPL is more entertainment and business than sports. We are not taxing test matches.”
Sources said NCP chief Sharad Pawar did not want the state to levy the tax since it could have an adverse impact on ticket sales and hence affect revenues earned by the franchisees.
The backtracking on this decision will embarrass Chavan further. He is already in a tight spot over Shiv Sena’s agitation against actor Shah Rukh Khan’s movie My Name Is Khan.
The state has been looking at various ways to mop up funds since its coffers are empty and had decided to levy a tax on IPL matches, internet protocol TV and even pubs and discotheques playing music.