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Taking over BCCI not feasible for government, says sports minister Sarbanabda Sonowal

BCCI will continue to be an autonomous body © Getty Images (Representational Photo)
BCCI will continue to be an autonomous body © Getty Images (Representational Photo)

New Delhi: Aug 13, 2014

The government today said taking over the Indian Cricket Board was not a “feasible” option since the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was an autonomous body but it will try to bring the cricket body under the ambit of the RTI Act.

Sports Minister Sarbanabda Sonowal was responding to a question in the Rajya Sabha. ”BCCI is an autonomous body registered under the Societies Act. It is not feasible for the Government to take over and run the day to day activities of BCCI,” Sonowal said in his written reply. The minister said the government was aware of several controversies surrounding the BCCI and they were investigating the matter.

“Several controversies about BCCI regarding allotment of franchisees, match fixing, betting etc., reported in sections of print and electronic media, have come to the notice of the Government. Various agencies of the government namely the Enforcement Directorate, Income Tax and Service Tax Department have conducted inquiries into the allegations of the irregularities involving the BCCI in the country,” Sonowal added.

The Sports Minister is also keen to bring all the sports bodies, including BCCI, under the Right To Information Act (RTI) as soon as the process allows.

“The Government has also formulated a draft of the National Sports Development Bill to bring all the National Sports Federations and the BCCI under the RTI Act with the provision of exclusion clause of protecting personal/confidential information relating to athletes,” Sonowal said.

Sonowal said the government was keen to bring a law that would help in stopping unfair practices and check the menace of match-fixing.

“In order to curb match fixing and other unfair practices in sports, Ministry of Law has prepared a draft legislation has sought the views of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs,” Sonowal added.

The new minister also said that the government has taken and will take more steps to bring transparency in the working of the National Sports Federations.

“The Government has taken various measures to bring transparency, accountability and good governance in the functioning of the NSFs with a view to minimise the complaints of various nature such as misappropriation of Government funds; prevent doping, sexual harassment of women in sports, age fraud, etc.,” said Sonowal.

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