Mumbai:IPL 3 has opened in Mumbai, and will close there. Maharashtra will host 14 of the 60 scheduled matches of this multi-crore extravagance, but the state will gain little. Strangely, the Maharashtra government has given up on charging IPL entertainment tax. A levy it normally imposes on all entertainment acts but certainly not IPL.
Two months after it decided to levy a 25 per cent entertainment tax on IPL ticket sales, it has not moved an inch towards enforcing the tax, giving up on the 12 crores it would have earned from the 14 matches being played in the state.
The Delhi and Punjab governments had charged entertainment tax on IPL matches. The logic, that it's not just a sporting event but also a commercial and entertainment venture. An argument, the Maharashtra cabinet initially supported, but later simply didn't act on. Sources say it was done under pressure from the NCP as Sharad Pawar has been a keen supporter of the IPL.
The result is a rollback, even though the government isn't admitting it.
"Some states have charged. Some have not charged. We have to see if it is productive or counterproductive," said Ashok Chavan, Maharashtra Chief Minister.
"This issue is between the government and the franchisees. If they have to pay, they will pay," commented Lalit Modi, IPL Commissioner.