indian cricket

Star India paid about Rs 82 crore stamp duty to Maharashtra government after IPL rights deal

Star India won the TV broadcasting and digital rights of the IPL for Rs 16,347 crore in a five-year deal earlier this month.

The Maharashtra government received about Rs 82 crore as stamp duty from the five-year media rights deal between the BCCI and broadcast major Star India, a Department of Stamps and Registration official has claimed.

Star India won the TV broadcasting and digital rights of the Indian Premier League for Rs 16,347 crore in a five-year deal earlier this month, defeating Sony which had broadcast the first 10 editions of the IPL.

“After coming to know from print and TV media about the contract, we took up the matter with the Board of Control for Cricket in India, with whom Star India signed the contract,” a top official of the Department of Stamps and Registration was quoted as saying by PTI.

“The positive approach of Vinod Rai, head of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators of BCCI, helped in the speedy recovery of the amount,” the official told PTI on condition of anonymity.

“We informed the BCCI that the agreement of global media rights is chargeable under sections 5(h)(A)(ii) of the Maharashtra Stamp Act. We also pointed out that under Section 34 of the Act, the instrument (agreement) is inadmissible in evidence if not duly stamped,” the official said.

The official revealed that the agreement like the one between BCCI and Star India attracts a stamp duty of 0.5% of the total value.

“The Stamp Collector’s Office in Mumbai asked Star India to submit the agreement copy for payment of stamp duty,” he said.

“As per the Act, the contract agreement covering exclusive rights of telecasting, broadcasting or exhibition of an event or a film attracts stamp duty of 0.5 per cent of the amount agreed to in the contract, if the agreement amount exceeds Rs 10 lakh,” the official said.

Accordingly Star India paid a stamp duty of Rs 81,73,75,500 last week, the official said.

“Till last year, it was observed that parties which entered into contracts with BCCI were not keen to pay the stamp duty amount. As a result, the state government lost a big amount which could have come into its kitty,” the official said.

“This year the authorities decided to be proactive and sent teams to BCCI and concerned firms in a bid to garner the stamp duty,” the official said.

A team went to the BCCI office in Mumbai to carry out “inspection of such agreements,” he added.

Star could not be reached for a comment despite repeated attempts.

The official claimed that this is the second instance this year of the Stamps department, with the help of Rai, former Comptroller and Auditor General of India, recovering stamp duty.

A few months ago, the department received a copy of the agreement between the BCCI and Oppo Electronics Corporation, which said Oppo has been appointed as the team sponsor for the next five years, a deal worth Rs 1,049 crore.

“The stamp duty on the agreement came to Rs 5.39 crore, which was 0.5% of the total amount and was paid by Oppo,” the official said.

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“My body instantly craves chai and samosa”

German expats talk about adapting to India, and the surprising similarities between the two cultures.

The cultural similarities between Germany and India are well known, especially with regards to the language. Linguists believe that Sanskrit and German share the same Indo-Germanic heritage of languages. A quick comparison indeed holds up theory - ratha in Sanskrit (chariot) is rad in German, aksha (axle) in Sanskrit is achse in German and so on. Germans have long held a fascination for Indology and Sanskrit. While Max Müller is still admired for his translation of ancient Indian scriptures, other German intellectuals such as Goethe, Herder and Schlegel were deeply influenced by Kalidasa. His poetry is said to have informed Goethe’s plays, and inspired Schlegel to eventually introduce formal Indology in Germany. Beyond the arts and academia, Indian influences even found their way into German fast food! Indians would recognise the famous German curry powder as a modification of the Indian masala mix. It’s most popular application is the currywurst - fried sausage covered in curried ketchup.

It is no wonder then that German travellers in India find a quite a lot in common between the two cultures, even today. Some, especially those who’ve settled here, even confess to Indian culture growing on them with time. Isabelle, like most travellers, first came to India to explore the country’s rich heritage. She returned the following year as an exchange student, and a couple of years later found herself working for an Indian consultancy firm. When asked what prompted her to stay on, Isabelle said, “I love the market dynamics here, working here is so much fun. Anywhere else would seem boring compared to India.” Having cofounded a company, she eventually realised her entrepreneurial dream here and now resides in Goa with her husband.

Isabelle says there are several aspects of life in India that remind her of home. “How we interact with our everyday life is similar in both Germany and India. Separate house slippers to wear at home, the celebration of food and festivals, the importance of friendship…” She feels Germany and India share the same spirit especially in terms of festivities. “We love food and we love celebrating food. There is an entire countdown to Christmas. Every day there is some dinner or get-together,” much like how Indians excitedly countdown to Navratri or Diwali. Franziska, who was born in India to German parents, adds that both the countries exhibit the same kind of passion for their favourite sport. “In India, they support cricket like anything while in Germany it would be football.”

Having lived in India for almost a decade, Isabelle has also noticed some broad similarities in the way children are brought up in the two countries. “We have a saying in South Germany ‘Schaffe Schaffe Hausle baue’ that loosely translates to ‘work, work, work and build a house’. I found that parents here have a similar outlook…to teach their children to work hard. They feel that they’ve fulfilled their duty only once the children have moved out or gotten married. Also, my mother never let me leave the house without a big breakfast. It’s the same here.” The importance given to the care of the family is one similarity that came up again and again in conversations with all German expats.

While most people wouldn’t draw parallels between German and Indian discipline (or lack thereof), Germans married to Indians have found a way to bridge the gap. Take for example, Ilka, who thinks that the famed differences of discipline between the two cultures actually works to her marital advantage. She sees the difference as Germans being highly planning-oriented; while Indians are more flexible in their approach. Ilka and her husband balance each other out in several ways. She says, like most Germans, she too tends to get stressed when her plans don’t work out, but her husband calms her down.

Consequently, Ilka feels India is “so full of life. The social life here is more happening; people smile at you, bond over food and are much more relaxed.” Isabelle, too, can attest to Indians’ friendliness. When asked about an Indian characteristic that makes her feel most at home, she quickly answers “humour.” “Whether it’s a taxi driver or someone I’m meeting professionally, I’ve learnt that it’s easy to lighten the mood here by just cracking a few jokes. Indians love to laugh,” she adds.

Indeed, these Germans-who-never-left as just diehard Indophiles are more Indian than you’d guess at first, having even developed some classic Indian skills with time. Ilka assures us that her husband can’t bargain as well as she does, and that she can even drape a saree on her own.

Isabelle, meanwhile, feels some amount of Indianness has seeped into her because “whenever its raining, my body instantly craves chai and samosa”.

Like the long-settled German expats in India, the German airline, Lufthansa, too has incorporated some quintessential aspects of Indian culture in its service. Recognising the centuries-old cultural affinity between the two countries, Lufthansa now provides a rich experience of Indian hospitality to all flyers on board its flights to and from India. You can expect a greeting of Namaste by an all-Indian crew, Indian food, and popular Indian in-flight entertainment options. And as the video shows, India’s culture and hospitality have been internalized by Lufthansa to the extent that they are More Indian Than You Think. To experience Lufthansa’s hospitality on your next trip abroad, click here.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Lufthansa as part of their More Indian Than You Think initiative and not by the Scroll editorial team.