India seeks tax exemption to host 2011 World Cup

Published: Friday, February 18, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:India would bid to host cricket's World Cup in 2011 provided the sport's showpiece One-day event was exempt from government tax, a leading official has said.

"We are planning to host the World Cup in 2011 but we can go ahead only if we get the nod on tax exemption from the government," said former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Jagmohan Dalmiya on Friday.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) insists on a tax waiver for all major events and the Indian government's tax-heavy policy has already created a hurdle for the country ahead of hosting next year's Champions Trophy.

Dalmiya was speaking after a meeting in New Delhi with sports minister Sunil Dutt and ICC president Ehsan Mani focusing on tax exemption for the Champions Trophy, the mini-World Cup held every two years.

"The minister gave us a patient hearing and has promised to take up the matter with the concerned authorities," said Dalmiya, also a former head of the ICC.

The ICC hopes to get the Indian government's reply before its executive board meeting in New Delhi on March 17-18.

The ICC's tax waiver policy was not enforced when India co-hosted two World Cups in the past, in 1987 with Pakistan and in 1996 with both Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The ICC last year warned that India, the world's largest market for cricket, was not the place to hold major tournaments because of the government's high tax rates.

India, with millions of cricket-crazy viewers, has the largest television audience for the sport in the world.

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