Maken hits out at kill bill BCCI

Maken hits out at kill bill BCCI

Minister says cricketing body needs to be more accountable in its functioning

Maken hits out at kill bill BCCI

“I wouldn’t want to say what happened in the Cabinet meeting yesterday, I just like to reiterate the sport ministry's stand and my stand. We are in no way trying to control the sports federations or sports bodies,” Maken told news persons, a day after the Union Cabinet rejected the bill. The bill seeks to bring the richest sporting body—the BCCI—which has come under several controversies in the past for trying to evade providing information to public under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, making it obligatory to disclose information to public.

The draft law also wants to set an upper age restriction on persons heading sports bodies and allocate 25 per cent quota for sportsperson in the BCCI executive which has been normally filled with politicians or businessmen.

Some of the heavyweights in the Cabinet heading key sports bodies have strongly opposed the bill in its current form. The Cabinet on Tuesday asked sports ministry to “re-work” the bill.

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar is chief of ICC, Union Minister for renewable energy sources Farooq Abdullah is heading the J&K Cricket Association , Science and Technology Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh is at the head of Mumbai Cricket Association, Heavy Industries minister Prafulla Patel runs Indian Football Federation (IFA).

“We just want transparency and efficiency in their functioning, since they are sending teams outside India representing the country, they should be answerable to all Indians through RTI. Their accounts should be known to public through RTI, after all they are using government funds and sending teams, so we want them to be accountable to the citizens of India through RTI,” Maken said.

For example, Maken said, people would like to know for how much did the BCCI get the land for the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium or the ground at Dharamsala.

The BCCI has countered with the argument that it is an autonomous body and takes no funds from the government and therefore could not be subjected to government control.
“The BCCI should point out what provisions are intrusive in nature and which clauses will have government control. We will remove all that but they should not oppose 25 per cent representation of sportspersons in the Executive Board and the RTI,” Maken said.

“Secondly, they should have age restrictions, after all in bureaucracy, we have 60 years as age of retirement, in judiciary it is 65 and in others it is 62-63, we have kept the age limitation at 70 years for sports federations,” he said.

The minister said sportspersons who have played at the national level should select or elect sports persons, representing  25 per cent of their executive body.