Disclosure of tax exemption details upsets Gujarat Cricket Association

The RTI query, aimed at finding the burden on exchequer incurred by cricket associations was forwarded by the I-T department to various units across the country Getty Images

New Delhi: Jan 12, 2012

The Gujarat Cricket Association headed by Chief Minister Narendra Modi has objected to the disclosure of tax exemptions enjoyed by it, prompting the Income Tax department to withhold the information.

The RTI query, aimed at finding the burden on exchequer incurred by cricket associations across the country, was forwarded by the Sports Ministry to I-T department which then forwarded it to various units across the country.

In reply question on tax exemption enjoyed by cricket associations registered with it, the Ahmedabad unit of the department said the GCA has objected to such disclosure.

“With regard to you query and the details sought therein, it is to inform you that, the sole cricketing body assessed to tax with this office is Gujarat Cricket Association. The said Association vide letter February 6, 2011 has raised its objection to any information being divulged under any Act including the RTI Act from its record,” the department said in the reply to activist Subhash Agrawal.

In his appeal, Agrawal has objected to denial of information saying, “any objection from GCA is totally irrelevant in view of section 8(2) of RTI Act which clearly stipulates that a public-authority may allow access to information if public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interests.”

In a case, the Central Information Commission is considering whether the BCCI gets enough indirect funding in the form of tax concession making it answerable under the Right to Information Act.

The Sports Ministry had also submitted before the CIC that the BCCI gets “substantial indirect funding” from the government in the form of revenue forego like “concessions in income tax, customs duty etc” and lands at concessional rates for stadiums. (PTI)