Maken hopeful of getting Sports Bill cleared , hits out at BCCI

Maken hopeful of getting Sports Bill cleared , hits out at BCCI

New Delhi: The National Sports Bill might have been rejected for now but sports minister Ajay Maken on Wednesday said he remains confident that it will get the cabinet’s approval the next time around.

Maken sees the development as a setback but will try and complete the finetuning work of the bill as quickly as possible.

“We are waiting for the minutes of the cabinet meeting. Once we get that, we will start reworking the National Sports Development Bill and place it before the cabinet again," Maken told PTI here.

“We will consult the ministers to know their specific objections and address those as much as possible in the bill. Hopefully we will be able to get the cabinet’s clearance next time around," he said.

Maken did not give a timeframe on when he would complete the finetuning work but admitted that it would no longer be possible to introduce the bill in this monsoon session of the parliament.

The Sports Ministry was keen to get the bill passed by parliament in the ongoing monsoon session but the cabinet’s rejection has put a spanner.

Maken hits back at BCCI

Maken also hit out at the BCCI saying that the Indian Cricket Board needs to be more accountable in its functioning.

Maken said that his sole intention is to bring about transparency and accountability in sports and he was convinced that the bill will serve the purpose.

“I wouldn’t want to say what happened in the cabinet meting 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 said.

“We don’t intend to have our own representatives in any way in any of the managements of these sports bodies, we don’t want to direct them, whether they would like to take Ajay Maken as one of their members or some of others MPs or ministers," he said.

Maken said he was particularly disappointed with the opposition to the bill by cricket administrators and said federations need to be brought under the ambit of the Right to Information Act for greater accountability.

“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," he said.

The cabinet had on Tuesday rejected the bill with ministers such as ICC president Sharad Pawar, Mumbai Cricket Association chief Vilasrao Deshmukh and J&K Cricket Association head Farooq Abdullah opposing it.

The ministers felt that the bill was seeking to control rather than facilitate the development of sports and had raised objections on the age and tenure restrictions.