People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 17

April 25, 2010

 CPI(M) Seeks Probe Into IPL;

Asks Why No Tax Paid For Two Years


THE Communist Party of India (Marxist) demanded an investigation into the entire Indian Premier League issue under the Prevention of Corruption Act, saying the resignation of Shashi Tharoor as a minister was "not the end of the matter.�

Addressing a press conference in parliament on April 20, 2010, Sitaram Yechury, CPI(M) leader in parliament, said the entire IPL episode should be probed as "the country now knows that no income tax was paid for the past two years on the phenomenal earnings running into thousands of crores of rupees.�

"IPL has nothing to do with cricket. It is abusing the Indian people's affection and fondness for cricket to mount a very huge commercial operation through dubious means," said Yechury.

Demanding that the matter be investigated under the Prevention of Corruption Act, he said a Joint Parliamentary Committee should be set up to go into it, just like the one that was established for the stock market scam.

Observing that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was on record to state that "India cannot afford crony capitalism", Yechury said the IPL was "nothing else but a scandalous exposure of crony capitalism.�

"The money is coming through the Mauritius route. We have been asking for a review of the double taxation avoidance treaty with that country for a long time. How dubious money is being legalised through this route needs to be investigated.�

He asked as to why the income tax department had not investigated issues like why the IPL had not filed tax returns for two years and why it was exempted from any tax in the name of sports. There was an urgent need to investigate where the money was coming from and who were handling it, he said.

IPL was "scandalous" because a vast majority of people were suffering economic hardships whereas "the base price of one IPL team was Rs 15,000 crore and there are ten teams. When we ask the government to spend more on the welfare of people, it says there is a resource crunch," he said.

Responding to Shashi Tharoor�s statement, Yechury said, �if he genuinely had Kerala's interests at heart, he should have fought for the Kochi Metro Rail project or should have talked about BPL and APL people who are being denied foodgrains under PDS by the centre, instead of IPL.�

Asked whether IPL should be banned, he said this should be decided after the matter was thoroughly probed.

To a question whether BCCI affairs also needed investigation, Yechury said this issue would open up as soon as a probe was launched on IPL, which was set up by BCCI.