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A Rs.15 billion rich NGO!
BCCI should be taxed as it is no more a national sporting body

It might sound absurd that the world’s richest sporting authority needs tax exemption. That’s the state of affairs at present with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). In a request to the Indian government, the board demanded that it be recognized as an NGO and given some tax waivers.

However, if one goes by numbers, BCCI is one of the richest sporting bodies of the world today and mints tremendous wealth through various commercial and private tie-ups. The IPL franchise model is a crying instance of how BCCI is now more of a commercial organisation rather than a board to promote sports in the country. The board is now more concerned with its own bottom line rather than the cause of cricket and cricketers. Even in the recent past, BCCI has not started any coaching centres, awareness programs or training camps to promote the game and has not constructed any sporting complexes either. As a matter of fact, tax exemption for BCCI was withdrawn in 2007 as it was observed that the board was no longer a body working for national sporting interests. It had more than Rs.15 billion of reserves in the financial year of 2010-2011 and moreover, the board also sells the telecast rights to private channels and not to Doordarshan today. Even the surplus amount that the board receives is shared between the stakeholders and the players and is not passed on to the government for the promotion of sports.

We were the first ones to (refer to B&E dated April 28, 2011) criticize these intentions of BCCI and debate on how the surplus should be used for the society’s underprivileged. Taxing the BCCI is imperative and the money thus received should be used for promoting games. If the BCCI needs to really get the status of an NGO and win some waivers, it’s high time it starts behaving like one.

By:- Sray Agarwal

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