The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rolling Stones gather no tax

Mumbai, Feb. 25: Thanks to the new chief minister, the city will be part of the Rolling Stones’ India Licks tour.

UB group chairman Vijay Mallya announced at a news conference today that Mumbai will be one of the two stops where the bad boys of rock will perform in India. The other is Bangalore.

There was some doubt about the Stones — Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood and Charlie Watts — coming to Mumbai, because of the prohibitive entertainment tax here. There’s a 50 per cent tax on ticket sales, 50 per cent on sponsorships and a further tax on complimentary passes.

The city missed out on two major shows, Elton John’s and Pink Floyd’s, because of the ticket prices.

But the prices for the Rolling Stones show have been lowered thanks to intervention from a kindly government.

“Elton John didn’t come to the city. But Sushil Kumar Shinde assured me that Mumbai should not only be the financial capital of India, but also the entertainment capital,” Mallya said.

Mallya also regretted that Enrique Iglesias had to give the country a miss because of a number of reasons.

Rolling Stones will perform in Bangalore’s Palace Grounds on April 11 and Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on April 14. They will have an entourage of 135 people. Mallya promises it to be “spectacular” show with some surprises.

Cricketer Dilip Doshi, whose cricket kit contained Stones numbers, also played a big role in bringing the group to India.

Doshi, who met the Stones in ’73 and was surprised to find that they were his admirers as he was theirs, is great friends with them. He has been discussing the India tour with them and as he was determined to bring the Stones to their Indian fans.

Mallya said he had plans of other shows on similar lines.

Speaking of East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, the football teams that he has bought over, the UB chairman said the teams were proof that corporatisation of a playing sport enhances performance.

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