M A I N   N E W S

Sports Ministry seeks probe into ‘black money’ in IPL
Fighting hard to get BCCI under RTI, says Maken
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 22
Even as the Indian Premiere League (IPL) rolls from one ugly controversy to another, the Government has made up its mind to probe the alleged dirty money going into the mega cricketing and entertainment event.

Sports Minister Ajay Maken today informed the Lok Sabha that he had written to the Finance Ministry for a probe into the source of money being pumped into the IPL.

"Secretary, Sports, has written to Secretary, Revenue, to look into the new cases and allegations of black money in IPL. The BCCI is doing an investigation but we want our own probe and have written to the Revenue Secretary to probe," he said after the BJP-led Opposition demanded a special audit of the IPL franchisee firms listed under the Companies Act and the Societies Registration Act.

Maken also told the Lok Sabha that the BCCI got an exemption of more than Rs 365 crore between 1996 and 2006 when it enjoyed Income Tax Exemption for being a charitable institution. It was post 2006 that the IT exemption to the BCCI was withdrawn. The Board's tax liability since then has been worked out at Rs 118 crore (2006-07) and Rs 257.12 crore (2007-08).

"We have realised income tax worth over Rs 118 crore and in 2008-09 we realised a liability of Rs 131 crore as against a total of Rs 257.12 crore. The BCCI has appealed to the IT Tribunal against the remaining liability and we are contesting its claim," Maken said.

Importantly, the Enforcement Directorate has recently slapped 19 notices worth Rs 1.77 crore on the BCCI in cases of FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) violations and the Sports Ministry has sought an update on these cases.

The Sports Minister also reiterated before the House that he wanted the BCCI to be covered by the Right to Information Act. The matter is listed before the Chief Information Commission for hearing. "Our stand has been clear from the very beginning. We want the BCCI under the RTI Act. It got Rs 365 crore IT exemption; it got prime Government land at cheap rates and benefited from it. Most importantly, it selects a cricket team that plays under India's National Flag.

“There can be no stronger reason than the last one to seek BCCI's coverage under the RTI," Maken said.

He made these points in response to the allegations of "Government's helplessness" over the BCCI which BJP member and former cricketer Kirti Azad levelled in the Zero Hour.

Azad, while citing the IPL controversies beginning from the misbehaviour of Kolkata Knight Riders owner Shah Rukh Khan; the arrest of Royal Challengers Bangalore player for alleged molestation and now the arrest of two more RCB players at a rave party in a posh Mumbai suburb last night, demanded the Government to audit those IPL firms which are registered under laws of the land.

"We know Mr Minister that you are helpless before the BCCI and that the BCCI is above the law, but you can at least probe the listed IPL companies to know the source of money they are using. Every other game is being audited. Why not cricket. The IPL has ruined the reputation of the game and the same must be redeemed by coming clean," said Azad as JDU's Shard Yadav and CPM's Basudeb Acharia supported him.





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |