Broadcast Major Star India paid Rs 81,73,75,500 to the Department of Stamps and Registration of Maharashtrian Government as stamp duty for the five-year IPL media rights deal with BCCI. A stamp duty of 0.5 percent of the total value is applied to such kind of an agreement giving exclusive rights.
Recently, Star India won the TV broadcasting and digital rights of the Indian Premier League for a whopping Rs 16,347 crore for a five-year spell. Sony, which had broadcast the first 10 editions of the IPL, was pipped by Star India. This contract agreement between Star India and BCCI covers exclusive rights of telecasting, broadcasting or exhibition of the event, hence the heavy stamp duty was given to the Maharastra government.
"After coming to know from print and TV media about the contract, we took up the matter with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), with whom Star India signed the contract," a top official of the Department of Stamps and Registration said to PTI.
"The positive approach of Vinod Rai, head of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators of BCCI, helped in the speedy recovery of the amount. We informed the BCCI that the agreement of global media rights is chargeable under sections 5(h)(A)(ii) of the Maharashtra Stamp Act. We also pointed out that under Section 34 of the Act, the instrument (agreement) is inadmissible in evidence if not duly stamped," the official added.
The agreement between the BCCI Star India calls for a stamp duty of 0.5 percent of the total value. Consequently, the biggest sports broadcaster in India had to pay a stamp duty of Rs 81,73,75,500 last week. Many parties entering into such agreement were reluctant to pay a duty, so, the authorities got down to business and started sending teams to collect the amount.
"The Stamp Collector's Office in Mumbai asked Star India to submit the agreement copy for payment of stamp duty," he said.
"As per the Act, the contract agreement covering exclusive rights of telecasting, broadcasting or exhibition of an event or a film attracts stamp duty of 0.5 percent of the amount agreed to in the contract, if the agreement amount exceeds Rs 10 lakh," he added.
"Till last year, it was observed that parties which entered into contracts with BCCI were not keen to pay the stamp duty amount. As a result, the state government lost a big amount which could have come into its kitty. This year the authorities decided to be proactive and sent teams to BCCI and concerned firms in a bid to garner the stamp duty," the official said.
A team was sent to the BCCI office in Mumbai to do an inspection of such agreements. According to the official, this has happened second time this year with Stamps department, when the help of Rai, former Comptroller and Auditor General of India, was required to recover stamp duty. A few months back, the department got to know about the agreement between the BCCI and Oppo Electronics Corporation, according to which Oppo has been appointed as the team sponsor for the next five years, a deal worth Rs 1,049 crore.
"The stamp duty on the agreement came to Rs 5.39 crore, which was 0.5 percent of the total amount and was paid by Oppo," the official said.