Last week, ICC received tax-exemption waiver for the 2011 World Cup from the Indian government which resulted into massive Rs.45-crore hit to the exchequer.
In fact, such grand tournaments have always turned out to be big money-spinners for the organizers through various media, promotional and sponsorship deals. One can actually understand the noble intention behind the largesse, if such bonanza is provided in case of sporting events that are not-so-popular or the ones which face acute paucity of funds.
What if even IPL chips-in with similar tax waiver request from the Centre? I am sure; government would deny them with any such special treatment – but on what grounds; just because the event is more of a local affair with overseas flavor?
No, I am not favouring tax waiver to IPL either; I am simply indicating there should be consistency in decision; and for that there should be a proper rational to support the decision making process all through. This debate can go on and on…
|PRIZE TIME FOR INDIAN CRICKET CHAMPS|
|* ICC||Full team||Rs 13.2 crore|
|* BCCI||Each player||Rs 1 crore each|
|Coach, support staff||Rs 50 lakh each|
|Selectors||Rs 25 lakh each|
|Railways||Each player||Lifetime I AC pass for self and companion|
|Delhi govt||MS Dhoni, as captain;||Rs 2 crore|
|Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Ashish Nehra||Rs 1 crore each|
|Punjab govt||Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh||Rs 1 crore each|
|Maharashtra govt||Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan||Rs 1 crore each|
|Uttarakhand govt||MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar||House or plot in Mussoorie; Stadium to be built in Dhoni’s name|
|Karnataka govt||Entire team||Housing plot in Bangalore|
|Jharkhand govt||MS Dhoni||Land to have a cricket academy; Jharkhand Ratna award|
|Gujarat govt||Yousuf Pathan, Munaf Patel||Eklavya Award, Rs 1 lakh each|
|Air India||MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh Harbhajan Singh, Suresh Raina||Promotion, rewards for all|
|Haryana govt||Virender Sehwag, Ashish Nehra||Best Sportsman of the Year Award|
|Uttar Pradesh govt||Suresh Raina, Piyush Chawla||Kanshi Ram International Sports Award|
|Audi||Yuvraj Singh||Audi car|
|*ICC: International Cricket Council *BCCI: Board of Control for Cricket in India|
[Chart source: Business Standard]
Now, let me ask you – is a ‘likely’ tax waiver justified for the Indian players who won the World Cup for us? They’ve already received Rs.1 crore each from the cricketing body BCCI and Rs.13.2 crore from ICC for the full team; not to mention individual prize monies announced by their respective States.
By saying all this, I do not doubt the intention and patriotism of Team India; nor am I trying to down-play the significance of the glorious Cup that they’ve brought back to India to make us all proud.
But, are Indian army and police forces shielding our national borders doing any less of a service to the country and its pride? They are constantly combating with the terror in a bid to maintain proper law, order and peace within the country.
So, aren’t they equally (or rather more) eligible for tax exemptions and waivers? I am not sure whether salaries of defense forces are tax exempt – but, that is how it should be, if cricketers are going to get awarded with hefty tax bonanzas. Please correct me if I am wrong!
Again, just check the prizes announced by various institutions and States to various players of the squad. Indian Railways have announced Lifetime I AC passes for each player and their companion. Notably, Karnataka government has announced housing plot in Bangalore for the entire team.
But, that’s about it! Most of the other States have rewarded only the individual players that find origin from their respective states. One thing that most of these states have missed is that the victory for Team India was a collective effort – and not from the only players that they’re showering their rewards to.
It is akin to saying that they’re looking at the victory as their State’s triumph accounted by their regional players. Why such boundaries within a same country?