MumbaiThe Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the world’s richest cricket body, has for the first time said on its own that it will pay stamp duty dues on its contract agreements with cricketers and sponsors. The move comes after the state’s stamps and registration department requested Vinod Rai, interim BCCI chief and former Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) to intervene.BCCI signs and renews contracts with cricketers and sponsors. This makes them liable to pay stamp duty to the government under the provisions of the Maharashtra Stamp Act,1958. The BCCI had so far refused to do so, citing various reasons, including one which said it was not a public body. Officials said despite repeated attempts by the stamps and registration department to collect dues, there had been no response from the BCCI administration to these notices, until now.After Rai intervened, the BCCI has not only agreed to pay dues, but has also sent documents of its recent agreement with Oppo Electronics Corporation, and said it was willing to pay the stamp duty for this deal too.According to the Indian Registration Act, 1908, the BCCI doesn’t need to register these agreements with the department. But section 5 of the Maharashtra Stamp Act makes it mandatory to pay stamp duty on agreements, officials pointed out. “BCCI officials did not accept our argument that they must pay stamp duty for contract agreements. We decided to approach Rai and sent him a letter in April, requesting him to intervene,” said a senior official.“We knew that during his tenure as CAG, Rai was particular about government arms recovering their revenues. The response so far has been positive, as Ratnakar Shetty, the general manager, game development has expressed willingness to make payment of dues of stamp duty,” the senior official said, requesting anonymity.The official said the department recently received a copy of the agreement between BCCI and Oppo. “The document says Oppo has been appointed as the team sponsor by BCCI for the next five years, for which the former has paid Rs1,049 crore to the cricket body. The stamp duty on the agreement comes to Rs5.39 crore, 0.5% of the total amount. The BCCI will also have to pay a penalty for two months for delays, as the agreement was signed in March,” the senior official said.Sources told HT the BCCI has also agreed to make payments of stamp duty for agreements signed in the past, but has sought time to do so. HT contacted Rai, but he refused to comment on the matter.