Mumbai:Facing flak from the Opposition for not levying tax on IPL, the Maharashtra Government has decided to impose entertainment tax on matches from next season. "The Government has decided to levy entertainment tax on IPL from the next season," Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal said.
The decision was taken last month by the state cabinet. However, the minutes of the meeting were confirmed in the Thursday's cabinet meeting, Bhujbal said.
The opposition Shiv Sena-BJP attacked the government during the Assembly session last month for failing to impose tax on IPL matches during season three.
The government also faced an embarrassing situation after a cabinet meeting on January 20 decided to impose the tax on IPL, but the decision was not implemented as it never figured in the minutes of the meeting.
Opposition parties had alleged that NCP chief Sharad Pawar was behind the tax waiver for IPL.
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan had informed the Assembly that none of the neighbouring states have charged tax from IPL.
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has rapped the state government for a loss of Rs five crore by sparing the IPL from paying entertainment tax.
"The IPL was conceptualised as an entertainment spectacle and was also pitched as the ultimate destination of TV entertainment," the CAG report said, adding, "it is thus obvious that the main objective of the IPL was to provide entertainment and hence merited levy of entertainment duty on sale of tickets."
Earlier this week, the Bombay High Court remarked that "prima facie this activity (IPL matches) is covered under Entertainment Tax."