It’s official: IPL, one-day cricket matches will be taxed
Cricket enthusiasts will have to pay 25 per cent extra to watch an Indian Premier League (IPL) match or one-day internationals, in city stadiums.
The state government has finally approved the entertainment tax on these events and that will cause ticket prices to rise.
Hindustan Times was the first to report that the cabinet had decided to levy entertainment tax on IPL.
Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal told journalists on Saturday that the cabinet has ratified the decision it had taken on January 20 on Thursday.
“We confirmed the minutes of the January 20 meeting. Tax will be applicable for events held in future,” Bhujbal said.
The earlier editions of the IPL that were held in the state will not be taxed with retrospective effect.
The tax relaxation for IPL created a political controversy because of inordinate delay in making the announcement official.
The issue also created a rift between the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party. Congress ministers, who wanted the tax levied, believed that NCP ministers did not support it because they wanted to appease party boss Sharad Pawar, who is closely associated with cricket.
Opposition leaders raked up the issue in the Legislature during its budget session held last month. The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India said the state had lost Rs 5 crore by not taxing the first edition of the tournament.
Shiv Sena legislator Subhash Desai moved the high court. Last month, the court asked the government take a final call saying “prima facie this activity (IPL matches) is covered under entertainment tax”.
On May 5, the HC also directed that Pawar be made a respondent to the petition.
It also sent notice to the Centre seeking a clarification on the code of conduct for ministers holding positions in profit-making organizations like sports bodies. The government has to reply on June 22.