Friday, January 30, 2015

Yoshitha's CSN to close ? One Billion Tax Throws Company Into Deep Crisis

It looks as if Carlton Sports Network a TV channel started by the sons of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is on the verge of a serious financial crisis which could even lead to its closure.

The government through its interim budget which was presented to Parliament yesterday imposed a onetime tax of Rs. 1 billion on all sports networks that dodged taxation. Although Capital Maharaja Organization also has a sports channel, the TV station, according to sources, has a clean tax file.

Sources from CSN told on Friday that the company was not in a position to pay Rs. 1 billion to the government by way of taxes. This means the company which is also on the verge of losing its cricket broadcasting rights has been plunged into a serious financial crisis.

In this context, observers say, the closure of the controversial sports channel, is very much written on the wall.

Meanwhile, a Cabinet sub committee was also set up to look into the possibility granting broadcasting rights of international cricket matches to Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation and Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation a privilege that was enjoyed by CSN, run by the Rajapaksa sons.

It was awarded the rights for three years by Sri Lanka Cricket in May 2012, despite an earlier Cabinet decision to award the rights to SLRC. At the time, speculation was rife that the deal was fraudulent.
A month later, Sri Lanka Cricket was forced to admit that CSN did belong to Namal Rajapaksa and Yoshitha Rajapaksa, the two elder sons of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

However, SLC defended the decision to award rights to CSN, claiming that the deal took place according to proper procedures.

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