Kerala Sports Minister V Abdurahiman has come under fire from all quarters after his remark on the prices of the India vs Sri Lanka 3rd ODI which will be played in Thiruvananthapuram on January 15.
Fans had been complaining about the steep prices for the cricket match at the Greenfield International Stadium. Price for an upper-tier ticket has been set at ₹1,300 which includes 18 per cent GST and 12 per cent entertainment tax. While a lower-tire ticket has been priced at ₹2,600.
Abdurahiman was asked by reporters whether he would consider reducing the tax on the ticket prices to which he replied, "What is the need of reducing the tax?
"The demand is that the country is witnessing the phenomenon of price rise so that the tax should be reduced. Those who are starving need not go to watch the match."
Opposition parties including the Congress and BJP have slammed the minister for his insesntive remark.
“The Chief Minister should not allow the minister to sit on that chair even for an hour. What does the CPI(M), which claims to be a party for the poor, have to say about this?” asked Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly V D Satheesan, while adding that the people were “shocked” to hear such a “rude and absurd statement” from a minister in the state’s democratically elected Communist government.
Entertainment Tax Hiked from 5 to 12%
BJP state president K Surendran urged the government to withdraw the “steep increase” in entertainment tax being levied for the India-Sri Lanka ODI match.
The minister’s statement that only those with money should watch the game is an “insult” to sports lovers, he said.
“The sudden hike in entertainment tax from five to 12 per cent is beyond the reach of cricket fans in the state. The cricket lovers are forced to pay 30 per cent tax including GST to watch the game,” Surendran said.
The government, however, rejected the reports that excess tax was being levied from people to watch the match.
In a statement, state Local Self-Government Minister M B Rajesh said the entertainment tax was actually reduced from a higher rate to 12 per cent.
(With PTI Inputs)
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)