IPL franchisees to pay entertainment tax: cricket board

March 27th, 2008 - 5:11 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 27 (IANS) The eight Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise owners will have to pay any entertainment tax the government may levy on the cash-rich Twenty20 cricket tournament starting next month. The working committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) took a decision to this effect at a meeting in Chennai Tuesday, according to an official who attended it.

The official told IANS that it was decided to inform the franchise owners that they will have to apply for the entertainment tax exemption. But if the government declines their request they will have to bear the burden and not the BCCI, which owns the IPL.

The franchise owners, comprising mostly business tycoons and Bollywood stars, spent millions of dollars to buy teams and players for the world’s richest cricket tournament starting April 18. In all, 59 Twenty20 matches will be played this year.

Three of the eight franchise owners spent over $100 million to buy the teams. They were business tycoon Mukesh Ambani (Mumbai for $111.9 million), Deccan Chronicle newspaper (Hyderabad for $107.01 million) and Vijay Mallya’s UB Group (Bangalore for $106 million).

The other owners are India Cements (Chennai for $91 million), GMR Holdings (Delhi for $84 million), Preity Zinta-led consortium (Mohali for $76 million), Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies (Kolkata for $75.09 million) and Emerging Media (Jaipur for $67 million).

Usually, the government levies entertainment tax on Test matches and One-Day Internationals played in India. But often the tax is waived following requests from the BCCI or state associations.

It remains to be seen how the franchise owners will react to the BCCI decision and whether the government will insist on the entertainment tax.

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