House panel seeks RBI guv's deposition in IPL row

 
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance (PSCF) at its meeting held here on Wednesday decided to “specifically” seek clarifications from the RBI governor on issues regarding involvement of banks in the IPL irregularities, especially the remittances of foreign exchange, sources close to the PSCF said.

The members of the committee sought the RBI governor’s deposition as they were not satisfied with the replies given by RBI deputy governor Shyamala Gopinath who deposed before the committee, sources said.

The PSCF members posed a number of questions to Gopinath on the role of the RBI and commercial banks in the transfer of funds to the Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI), and various IPL franchisees who own glamorous high-profile cricket teams.

The PSCF, which is headed by senior BJP leader and former finance minister Yashwant Sinha, comprises select members of both Houses of Parliament. It is being suspected that massive amounts of foreign funds had been used by some of the franchisees at the time of bidding. The Enforcement Directorate is also specially probing the involvement of foreign exchange in the funding of bidding by various IPL franchisees. The investigative wings of the Income Tax department are also probing probable tax evasion by all stakeholders, including the various IPL franchisees and the BCCI and high-profile cricket players.

The government ordered an investigation by the Income Tax department into the IPL irregularities from the tax-evasion angle as soon as the controversy surfaced in April this year following a row between former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor and suspended IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi on the bidding of the Kochi franchisee.

The Corporate Affairs Ministry is also looking into probable violation of provisions of the Company Law by various IPL franchisees.

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