IPL Scam or BCCI Scam 2023?
The Indian Premier League (IPL) is one of the most popular and lucrative cricket tournaments in the world. It attracts millions of viewers and generates billions of dollars in revenue every year. But behind the glitz and glamour of the IPL, there are allegations of corruption, fraud and tax evasion that have tarnished its image and reputation.
This truth will shock you. BCCI has earned around Rs. 48,390 crores just with media rights This year. It owns the second Biggest Force League in the World with an approximate valuation of 15 billions.
But it pays 0% tax.
Yes, this is the story of BCCI and our tax system.
Let me put these numbers in perspective.
The revenue from media rights alone is Rs. 48,390 crores.
It is much bigger than the budgets of states like Goa, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura etc.
It is even more than the valuations of IPO's of companies like LIC, Paytm etc.
But BCCI doesn't pay any tax.
Do you know why? Because it's registered as a charitable organization and its income is completely exempted under section 12A of Income Tax Act.
And BCCI argues that IPL is not commercial activity.
It is the promotion of sports which is not acted in India when the government is bringing new laws to tax common people like You & Me everyday.
BCCI’s Tax Exemption
One of the most controversial issues related to the IPL is the tax exemption enjoyed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the governing body of cricket in India and the owner of the IPL. The BCCI claims that it is a charitable organization that promotes cricket as a sport and does not engage in any commercial activity. Therefore, it is exempted from paying any income tax under section 12A of the Income Tax Act.
However, this claim has been challenged by many critics who argue that the BCCI is actually a profit-making entity that exploits its monopoly over cricket in India and uses its influence to evade taxes. According to some estimates, the BCCI has earned around Rs 48,390 crore just from media rights this year. It also owns the second biggest sports league in the world with an approximate valuation of $15 billion.
To put these numbers in perspective, the revenue from media rights alone is more than the budgets of states like Goa, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura. It is also more than the valuations of IPOs of companies like LIC and Paytm. But unlike these states and companies, the BCCI does not pay any tax on its income.
Many people have questioned the logic and fairness of this tax exemption and have demanded that the BCCI should be brought under the tax bracket. They argue that the BCCI should not be allowed to enjoy the benefits of public infrastructure, security, subsidies and concessions without contributing to the public exchequer. They also point out that other sports federations in India do pay taxes on their income.
Are they promoting cricket, or foreign players, or generation of black money vis betting and satta?
They certainly do not Appear TO BE promoting the Indian Cricket / Upcoming Indian Players / Indian Cricket Talent in the IPL instead of which Foreign Players are being imported probably only to promote International Betting or creating unaccounted wealth abroad.
IPL’s Facilitation Fee Scam
Another scandal that has rocked the IPL is the facilitation fee scam involving former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi, BCCI officials, Sony Entertainment and World Sports Group (WSG). The scam revolves around the 10-year media rights of IPL matches awarded to WSG in 2009 for Rs 4,792 crore. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has alleged that Lalit Modi, BCCI and WSG fraudulently created an asset of Rs 425 crore outside India under the guise of a facilitation fee.
According to the ED, there was no agreement between BCCI and WSG for the media rights and WSG had no rights to relinquish either. However, Lalit Modi sent certain emails to various broadcasters and sponsors, including Sony Entertainment, saying that BCCI was barred from signing any new agreement till a certain court verdict was pronounced. Later, he said that BCCI had signed a new agreement with WSG and Sony had to pay Rs 425 crore to WSG for acquiring the rights.
The ED has claimed that Lalit Modi might be a beneficiary of the Rs 125 crore already paid by Sony to WSG Mauritius1. The ED has also issued show-cause notices to all four parties involved in this scam under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
IPL’s Betting and Spot-Fixing Controversy
The most shocking and shameful episode in the history of IPL was the betting and spot-fixing controversy that erupted in 2013. Several players, team owners, bookies and officials were arrested by the police for their involvement in illegal betting and manipulating certain aspects of matches for monetary gains. The Supreme Court appointed a committee headed by Justice Mukul Mudgal to investigate this matter.
The Mudgal committee submitted its report to the Supreme Court in 2014, which revealed that several prominent names were involved in this scandal. The report also suggested that there was a need for a further probe by an independent agency. The Supreme Court then appointed another committee headed by Justice R.M. Lodha to decide on the quantum of punishment for those found guilty.
The Lodha committee banned two teams - Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals - for two years from participating in IPL. It also suspended for life some players and officials, including former BCCI president N. Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan and Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra. The committee also recommended several reforms in the governance and administration of BCCI and IPL.
The IPL has been marred by several scams and controversies over the years that have raised doubts about its credibility and integrity. The BCCI has been accused of being opaque, unaccountable and arrogant in its dealings with various stakeholders. The fans have been cheated and disillusioned by some players and officials who have betrayed their trust and love for cricket.
However, despite these challenges, there is still hope for IPL to regain its glory and popularity. The Supreme Court has taken a proactive role in cleaning up cricket in India and ensuring transparency and accountability in BCCI and IPL. The Lodha committee reforms have been implemented partially by BCCI after much resistance and litigation. The new IPL governing council has been formed with fresh faces and new rules.
The IPL still has a lot of potential to showcase the best talent and entertainment in cricket. It can still be a platform for young players to showcase their skills and earn recognition. It can still be a source of pride and joy for millions of fans across India and abroad.
But for this to happen, IPL needs to be free from corruption, fraud and tax evasion. It needs to be fair, transparent and accountable to all its stakeholders. It needs to respect the spirit of cricket and uphold its values.
Don't you think The Government should amend the relevant laws in order to bring the richest BCCI within the tax bracket?
Only then can IPL be truly called as India’s Premier League.
What do you feel? Share your views.