Does Team India really need Tax waivers?


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…

By For What
* 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?

  1. Pradeep says

    Tax waivers to Indian team is simply a nonsense.

    Why you need to give them a tax waiver, when they are the richest board in the world and have enough money.

    Why this to the bunch of people who played with the glory of the nation and offerred a replica cup??

    They could have used it for other other sports

  2. Altaf Rahman says

    I feel that the present issue of some people (players, other staff) getting prize money, gifts and their taxability is a petty issue. Why? Let me explain it.

    Suppose if BCCI has announced a gift of 1.4 crores and if the players paid a tax of 40 lakhs and retained the balance 1 crore, will this debate (of taxability) arise? Similarly if the BCCI announce that the gift is 70 lakhs and BCI will pay what ever tax arise, will this debate arise?

    The point is, what makes head lines is the fact that BCCI announced gift. Not the amount. Whether tax is payable or waived or if payable who pays (player or BCCI or govt absorbes tax by waiver) that is a trivial issue.

    Its between govt, BCCI, players. What should matter to us (general public) is that “For the hard work every one in BCCI (players, coach, staff) put up and the result we got (winning the cup) was rewarded by many organizations (ICC, BCCI, Central govt, state govts, audi etc). Now who pays the tax is a non issue.

    Even if the prize money or gifts are taxed, it makes no worldly difference to any one (govts, sports bodies, players and to you and me)

    Except you and me everyone involved in India winning CWC are rich. If the total gifts and prizes are worth few crores, and the tax dues comes to a crore or two will not make much difference to either govt (which deals in thousands of crores in its day to day affairs), or sports bodies (which deals in hundreds of crores) and to players (who are worth tens of crores). For you and me it makes no difference if tax dept gets taxes or not, if players pay taxes or not.

    For me whats important is India won the CWC 2011.

    Just my two paisa :)

  3. Altaf Rahman says

    On a lighter note, I find that the gift from Karnataka is a clever one :))

    Real estate is down with either no takers or the values are down.

    Now by gifting some plots in Banglore to all Indian team, they created brand value. People who wish to own plots or flats near influential or famous persons will rush to buy plots or flats in sorrounding areas which will give much needed push to real estate there. A clever idea !!

    Just my two paisa :)

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      Well pointed out….yes, Karnataka seems to have done a clever thing by giving off land…and in bargain have got lot more terms of increased real estate value !

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