Fans will have to pay full fare inclusive of entertainment tax

Peeved about the Kochi Corporation’s delay in finalising the tax rebate on tickets for the Kochi One-Day International match, the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) has decided to go ahead without the discount.

The KCA has decided not to wait for the concession and has started printing tickets. The tickets will show the full fare inclusive of the entertainment tax.

“The printing of the tickets will not be completed before the deadline if the KCA waits for the decision of the local body. A special general body of the association, to be held on November 10, will take a final call on the tax issue,” said T.C. Mathew, KCA president. He claimed that Kochi had the lowest ticket fare.

Though the KCA had sought a complete waiver on entertainment tax on the tickets for the November 21 match, the Finance Standing Committee of the Kochi Corporation decided on Friday to limit it to 25 per cent of the ticket fare. The committee had also suggested that the rebate be passed onto the viewers and the ticket rates be reduced by 25 per cent.

Defending the decision, Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany, who attended the committee meeting, clarified that the civic body wished to transfer the tax rebate benefits to the cricket lovers and not to the KCA.

Mr. Chammany said the civic body, which was in deep financial crisis, decided to give 25 per cent discount to the KAC considering the interests of the cricket lovers of the State. “The local body is not in a position to grant 100 per cent rebate,” he said.

Incidentally, the decision of an all-party meeting convened earlier to allow tax rebate had invited severe criticism from the Opposition as well as the ruling front councillors. They argued against any such rebate considering the perilous financial position of the local body.

The suggestions of the standing committee will be placed before the Kochi Corporation council on November 12. “The council will take the final call on the question of discounts,” he said.

Mr. Mathew said the agency would not approach the civic body anymore for tax rebates and let it reap the economic benefits from the match in the form of entertainment tax. The KCA had been knocking the doors of various agencies since October 19 for rebate. It had submitted several memorandums to the State government and other authorities concerned. However, no decision was taken on the request till date, he said.

He said the decisions of the local body might influence future cricket matches in the city.

The city might lose a chance to host matches if the authorities refuse to pass on some tax benefits, he said.

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