Parliamentary Committee feel, tax exemptions to ICC for World Cup unjustified

World Cup tournament director Ratnakar Shetty, who is also the CAO of the BCCI said the ICC hosted the World Cup and the BCCI can’t comment on the issue AFP

New Delhi: Nov 29, 2011

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance said Tuesday that the Rs.45-crore tax exemption given to the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the World Cup was “unjustified and devoid of merit”, and also blamed the Income Tax Department for being lenient on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

The report, which was tabled by Sports Minister Ajay Maken in parliament, also asked the Department of Revenue to review the exemption given to the ICC for the World Cup that was held in the country earlier this year.

“Regarding tax exemption of about Rs.45.00 crore granted to the International Cricket Council (ICC) on the revenue generated from the recently concluded World Cup Cricket Tournament, the committee is not convinced about the tenability of the tax exemptions given to the ICC, as the World Cup received huge sponsorships and was patronised by the corporate sector in a big way,” the report said.

“Therefore, the committee is of the considered view that the tax exemption granted to ICC using discretionary powers under the provisions of general exemption for international sporting events was unjustified and devoid of merit. The committee recommend that the tax exemption granted to ICC be reviewed by the Department of Revenue,” it said.

World Cup tournament director Ratnakar Shetty, who is also the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the BCCI, refused to comment on the issue.

“The ICC hosted the World Cup. The BCCI can’t comment on the issue,” Shetty said.

The report said that the leniency of the Income Tax Department allowed the BCCI to enrich its coffers at the expense of the exchequer.

“The committee would therefore like this matter to be thoroughly probed and an action taken report furnished to the committee within one month of the presentation of this report.”

“In the meantime, the committee desires that all the pending tax assessments in respect of BCCI should be finalised on the strength of the department’s decision to withdraw exemption originally granted to BCCI,” the report said.

“It is thus quite evident that the Income Tax Department has been rather inconsistent in bringing BCCI into the taxability net. The inordinate delay and gross inaction in finalising assessment cannot but reinforce the committee’s desire seeking a thorough probe into the whole gamut of this issue, bringing out clearly the culpability of the tax officials concerned in granting exemptions and finalising assessments in this case,” it said.(IANS)