BJP said on Saturday it would take legal action, if the state government fails to implement a cabinet decision to impose entertainment tax on the Indian Premier League(IPL) matches in Mumbai.
Maharashtra Finance Minister Sunil Tatkare's recent announcement that there will be no entertainment tax on the IPL matches, has evoked a sharp reaction from the main opposition. The party has alleged that the government was favouring the cash-rich league and warned it will move the court if the matches are not taxed.
"Did IPL seek a tax waiver? Why is the state government, reeling under a severe debt burden, favouring IPL," state BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari told PTI in Mumbai.
It was decided in the state cabinet meeting on January 20, to levy entertainment tax on IPL, he said. However, the minutes of the decision were not made, he added.
"Chief Minister Ashok Chavan should explain if the state cabinet has decided to give a tax waiver to IPL," Bhandari said.
About the January 20 cabinet decision to tax IPL, Bhandari said "Chavan should explain why was that decision taken and why has the latest one been taken."
"Is Tatkare, who belongs to NCP, trying to appease his party chief Sharad Pawar, president of Mumbai Cricket Association?," Bhandari asked.
The Opposition would raise the issue during the budget session of state legislature, commencing March 18, Bhandari said. "If the government fails to tax IPL, we will approach court," he added.
The state government's stance is in stark contrast to that of Delhi and Punjab governments which have charged entertainment tax on IPL matches, saying IPL-3 is not just a sporting event but a commercial and entertainment venture, he said adding "Punjab government has in fact asked IPL to also foot the security bill."
NCP giving Legislative Council poll ticket to Tatkare's brother who was expelled from the party for contesting as a rebel in the Assembly election, is a curious coincidence, he said. Maharashtra is hosting 14 of the 60 scheduled matches of IPL season 3 which began here yesterday.
In January, the cabinet decided to levy a 25 per cent entertainment tax on IPL ticket sales and the state was expected to earn around Rs 12 crores, he said. PTI