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February 24, 2010
The Indian government has decided to do away with tax relief for the BCCI after tax officials labelled its activities a "gimmick" to make money. Junior finance minister SS Palanimanickam told the upper house of parliament that the board was a "primarily a commercial entity."
"The [tax] exemption was disallowed for the year 2007-08 as it was held that the BCCI is no longer promoting cricket as a charitable activity and is now primarily a commercial entity," Palanimanickam was quoted by AFP as saying.
The income tax department also said there was "no element of charity" in the affairs of the BCCI. "Cricket is only incidental to its scheme of things," it said in a statement. "It is more into prize money for every run or wicket, which is nothing short of a gimmick. The conduct of certain activities and receipt of income from these activities clearly show that these activities are totally commercial and there is no element of charity in the conduct of BCCI. It is evident that major income arises not from the game of cricket but from the business of cricket."
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