BPL franchises set payment deadlines
Bangladesh Premier League franchise owners have set a deadline of May 9 and May 31 for the clearance of payments for international and local cricketers respectively. The dates were decided in a meeting initiated by the Bangladesh Cricket Board between BCB president Mustafa Kamal and the franchise owners on Monday after the issue of delay in payments was raised in newspapers in Bangladesh, Pakistan and the UK.
Even before the BPL started, the franchises had said that due to bank transfers being the payment mode, they would need the permission of the concerned authorities in the government. The breakdown of the payments - amount paid in advance and the amount paid after the tournament - was never made public.
Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim, who also led Duronto Rajshahi in the BPL, was the first and only cricketer to raise the flag that payments to the local and overseas players haven't been made properly. Julien Fountain, Pakistan and Dhaka Gladiators fielding coach, had tweeted about the payment issue as well. ESPNcricinfo found out that several local players were unhappy with payment issues but declined to comment or be quoted when contacted.
The transfer of foreign currency from Bangladesh to other countries is considerably difficult as the Bangladesh Bank sets a limit. Franchises have often cited this as a problem to make payments to players' bank accounts, especially because the tournament was set-up and staged within a few weeks. Several of these issues were apparently not addressed ahead of the February 10 opening game.
Meanwhile, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) has said that the April 30 deadline for the BPL franchises to pay taxes will not be extended. Kanon Kumar Roy, director general of Directorate of Inspection (Taxes), Dhaka told The Daily Star yesterday, "We will take drastic action to realise taxes. We will set our next course of action in a meeting which will take place within this week. Many of them requested us to extend the date for paying the dues, but we are not considering their appeals."
According to NBR officials, the tax authorities received one crore (10 million) taka from the BPL parties - which includes six franchises, event management firm Game On Sports, players' salaries and the BPL governing council - while a tax payment of 20 crore (200 million) taka was projected. NBR had formed a team headed by Roy to monitor all financial transactions in a bid to ensure that all taxes are going to the state coffers.
Mohammad Isam is senior sports reporter at the Daily Star in Dhaka