The Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) reprimanded the Maharashtra government for not levying entertainment duty on the Indian Premier League (IPL) contributing to revenue losses of almost 5 crore.
The CAG report for the year ending March 31, 2009 tabled in the state legislature, disapproved the state government’s move to provide a blanket exemption by issuing a government resolution. It said the government should have obtained legislative sanction for exempting IPL from entertainment tax.
The report said the government should have considered levying entertainment duty on commercialised sports activities, such as IPL matches, having considerable revenue potential. CAG calculated a loss of Rs 4.99 crore to the state government due to non levy of entertainment duty on IPL matches held in Mumbai in 2008. Rajib Sharma, principal accountant general of Maharashtra, said, “The figure (Rs 4.99 crore) was calculated on the basis of information in respect of the seating capacity in stadiums — independently collected by the audit — and considering the minimum admission rate of Rs 500.” The entry fee for the T-20 matches varied from Rs 500 to Rs 10,000.
Sharma said the state finance department did not have information on the number of tickets sold and the amount collected from selling tickets for these matches. “This was so, because the department was told by the franchisee owners that they would not reveal the details as the matches were exempted from tax.”
The Maharashtra cabinet had earlier proposed levying 25 per cent duty on matches held in Mumbai and towns and 20 per cent in rural areas.