Gavaskar won’t be taxed for Rs 98L earned as commentator (Times of India, 30 March 2016)

(The report says that the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal has decided to exempt the legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar  from payment of income tax on the fee of Rs. 98 lakhs, which he had earned for his services as a commentator)…..

If true, this is an absolutely wrong decision.  When the common man pays tax on anything earned by him above the given limit, there can be no justification for a different treatment for anyone in matters of taxation.  The plea that Gavaskar has made the country proud and, therefore, he deserves a special consideration is not tenable.  There are thousands of our citizens – among them the brave soldiers defending our borders – who have made the country proud by their actions – sometimes visible to the public, sometimes unseen.  They do merit and earn commendations and even the highest awards for their outstanding service to the nation.  There are so many ways of honouring such men and women.  But relief from income tax should not be one of those means of expression of gratitude.

There is no doubt that the country is extremely proud of Sunil Gavaskar, and he has been rightly honoured by an appreciative nation and continues to be held as a sporting idol.  But he is not a poor, Below the Poverty Line person requiring a special dispensation in matters of taxation.

Sunil has earned more than enough of money and fame and we expect a person of his stature to  be graceful enough to willingly pay the tax  as his contribution to the building of the country.   There is no doubt that the entire nation will give him a “standing ovation”  just as his outstanding spells earned him huge applause in stadiums across the globe!