Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Tag: IPL

Deccan Chargers for sale

There is the story of an emperor who wore just an underwear and was riding a horse. The people could see that but everybody said the emperor was clothed in a fine robe and were praising the qualities of the robe. Then one boy said “The emperor is naked.” After that everybody said the emperor is naked.

Similar is the story of IPL. There was lot of hype and hoopla about it. Many said it was a great brand. The franchisees were not making profit. Some of them thrived on thousands of crores of rupees they borrowed from public sector banks which they did not return. They went for corporate debt restructuring (CDR). That meant they got more time to pay. Debts were converted into shares at higher than market value.

Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd, owners of Deccan Chargers, borrowed from different banks and defaulted. Deccan Chargers owe 35 crore rupees to players. DCHL pledged Deccan Chargers to banks. Banks wanted sale of Deccan Chargers. Bids were invited. PVP Films was the only bidder. The bid amount was 900 crore rupees, much higher than 428 crores paid by DCHL for Deccan Chargers. However the banks rejected the bid supposedly because they wanted full amount in cash, PVP offered 450 crore rupees in cash and 450 crore rupees in convertible debentures.

The glamour, glitz and gloss of IPL could not conceal the hollowness of the brand. Players wanted to play in IPL but not for their country. The money for playing in IPL was many times of what they got for playing for their country. Never before in the history of cricket so many cricketers got so much money for playing so less cricket. Now there is no certainty that players will get money if they play in IPL. It is said that Royal Challengers players except for Chris Gayle have not got their money.

There is some talk of action against paid news by politicians during election time. There should be some action against false news. There were reports of many companies bidding for Deccan Chargers. One report even said Videocon has bought Deccan Charges for 860 crore rupees.

Cancel Kingfisher Licence

Kingfisher is in trouble again. It has cancelled flights without informing passengers and DGCA and passengers are suffering. DGCA should cancel its licence. Excuse of bird hits should not be accepted. Passengers book their tickets in advance. When they come to the airport and know flights are cancelled there is not much they can do. To get tickets on other airlines they may have to pay more.

Ajit Singh has rightly said there will be no bail out of private airlines. If airlines suffer losses they are responsible for them. Passengers pay the fare fixed by airlines. If on an average airlines lose 900 rupees per seat they should increase the average fare by more than 900 rupees per seat. As a consequence if some people stop airline travel so be it. Air travel is not supposed to be cheap.

Kingfisher has borrowed money from banks and has not paid them. It has deducted taxes but not paid them. Its employees do not receive their salaries for months. Vijay Mallya has money for IPL but not for Kingfisher. A cricketer gets hired for almost 10 crore rupees for 45 days. Pilots don’t get paid. It seems many pilots have left Kingfisher and joined other airlines. Kingfisher has 7,000 crore rupees debt. It would not have been more if government had not bailed him out by turning loans payable to government banks into shares. Vijay Mallya blaming Income Tax Department for freezing accounts is of no use. Pilots were getting notices for taxes deducted by Kingfisher over the years but not paid to the government.

Foreign airlines are expected to be allowed to invest in private airlines in India but no one has come forward. Perhaps they have their own problems. Recently Air Australia went bankrupt. Passengers were stranded in Honolulu and other places.

Air India also should not get bail out. The freebies and concessions its present and former CMDs, directors, pilots and other employees get should be abolished. High salaries should be cut down. Some pilots get almost one crore rupees per year.

Kingfisher is not aviation industry. If it goes down it will not be the end of industry. Over the years East West, Modiluft, Damania Airways and many other airlines have shut down and aviation industry continues.

Sunil Gavaskar loses

BCCI has refused to pay Sunil Gavaskar as per his demand. Sunil Gavaskar had claimed that Sharad Pawar and Arun Jaitley had assured him that his dues will be paid. After that a news report appeared that said BCCI has rejected Sunil Gavaskar’s claim. Sunil Gavaskar said his faith in BCCI was shaken but he had no communication from BCCI. Sunil Gavaskar was with IPL in 2007-2010. Lalit Modi came in defence of Sunil Gavaskar. He said BCCI wanted Sunil Gavaskar with IPL to rival Kapil Dev who was with ICL and therefore Sharad Pawar promised Sunil Gavaskar four crores per year.

It is not clear whether four crores is inclusive of one crore by cheque or separate. Sunil Gavaskar’s loss is nine crores or twelve crores. Sunil Gavaskar did not ask the amount in writing. He said he trusted the President. Other reasons could he did not want to pay tax on that amount and did not want M. A. K. Pataudi and Ravi Shastri to know about it.

Rajeev Shukla has said that there is nothing in AGM or working committee records to show that BCCI had agreed to pay additional amount to Sunil Gavaskar and therefore there will be no payment. There the matter rests.

Sunil Gavaskar should have got his dues cleared when he was with IPL and Sharad Pawar was President. Legally there is nothing he can do to get the amount. Sharad Pawar and Arun Jaitley have not made any statements about this episode. They could be guilty of attempt to abet tax evasion and generation of black money.

BCCI is reluctant to come under RTI. It has official dealings and unofficial dealings and RTI will expose its unofficial dealings. BCCI crushed ICL through all means, fair and foul. There is cricket fatigue in the country and future IPL seasons may not be a success. Kochi Tuskers team was out after one season. BCCI cancelled Nimbus telecast contract because Nimbus defaulted on payments.

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