It is really amazing that the Kochi and Pune teams went for a staggering Rs. 3,200 crore. Was someone trying to park unaccounted money? Some stakeholders are alleged to have routed their money through tax-haven countries.
Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi would have never imagined that the IPL would turn into such a mega money-making machine in so short a time. Nor would he have imagined that his giving out details of Rendezvous Sports consortium, the franchisees of the Kochi team, on Twitter would start a fire which would engulf him too. His spat with Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor has turned so ugly that Modi is as much in trouble as the Minister. In a way, it is good that the controversy has turned the spotlight on the functioning and funding of the IPL and all the 10 teams — eight existing ones and the two new ones, Kochi and Pune, for whom auctions were held on March 21.
It appears that there are skeletons galore in the cupboards. The Enforcement Directorate suspects large-scale money laundering in purchase of some of the franchises. Some of the franchisees are corporate entities and it would not be difficult to trace their funding. The real messy area is where the teams have been bought by multiple owners. The authorities will have to look carefully whether some of the well-known people, who picked up these teams, were only a front for the real investors.
It is really amazing that the Kochi and Pune teams went for a staggering Rs. 3,200 crore. Was someone trying to park unaccounted money? Some stakeholders are alleged to have routed their money through tax-haven countries. Just as the role of Shashi Tharoor and his friend Sunanda Pushkar calls for scrutiny, it is necessary to go with a fine toothcomb over the dealings of Lalit Modi. There are allegations that his kin hold big stakes in Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab. The affairs of a high-value venture like the IPL, which is expected to generate an income of around $1.6 billion over five or 10 years, must be absolutely transparent.
Courtesy: The Tribune