Cabinet Rejects Proposed Sports Bill

Wednesday, 31 August 2011, 05:12 Hrs   |    1 Comments
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New Delhi: The union cabinet rejected the proposed National Sports Development Bill aimed at bringing more transparency and accountability in the functioning of the National Sports Federations (NSF), saying the legislation needs to be reworked.

The cabinet decided not to table the bill in this session of parliament and asked Sports Minister Ajay Maken to rework it.

At the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, five cabinet ministers were present - Sharad Pawar, Praful Patel, C.P. Joshi, Farooq Abdullah and Vilasrao Deshmukh.

Under the current version of the bill, all sports federations would have been covered by the Right to Information (RTI) Act and would need to submit their audited reports to parliament.

A clause in the bill also aimed at making the Board of Control of Cricket India a public organisation like other sports federations and bringing it under the purview of the RTI.

The sports ministry's move to include the BCCI in the bill drew support from most of the former Indian cricketers earlier in the day.

Former India captain Kapil Dev, who led the team to 1983 World Cup win, acknowledged the good work done by the BCCI but said it should work with the government.

"It is a vast issue and we can't talk about it off-hand but in my opinion every organisation should come under a uniform system. At the same time, BCCI is doing well as a private organisation and we should respect that. But at the end of the day, everything should come under the government," Kapil said on the sidelines of a seminar of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) here.

Another former captain, Mohammad Azharuddin, now a Congress MP, hoped the bill will improve sports in the country.

"You got to make sure this bill proves to be good for sports. We have a lot of good sportspersons who suffer because of many indifferent things. I really hope this bill is passed," Azharuddin told reporters outside parliament.

Ajay Jadeja, too, praised the world's richest board for its functioning but asserted that no one is above the law.

"BCCI has done a good job in running the sport but nobody is above the law. When a government passes a law, you can't look at one individual or one body. And if they are going to come out with a bill covering sports bodies, I don't see anything wrong in that," he said.

On BCCI coming under the RTI, Jadeja added: "There is nothing wrong if they fall under the RTI. But you have to leave out key things like players' selection away from public scrutiny."
Source: IANS
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