Sports Minister Ajay Maken on Thursday said the allegations of tax violation in running of the Indian Premier League should be looked into and asked the BCCI to come under the RTI ambit for its own good.
Mr. Maken said transparency in the working of National Sports Federations, including the BCCI, can be achieved by bringing them under the Right to Information Act, which the revised National Sports Development Bill seeks to incorporate.
Bollywood superstar and Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner Shah Rukh Khan was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with alleged financial irregularities in the holding of IPL II and Mr. Maken said such things, if found true, should not have happened.
“These things should not have happened and the government should look into this and the Enforcement Directorate and other agencies are doing that in IPL and related things,” Mr. Maken told reporters on the sidelines of a PYKKA meeting.
“It’s the public money it (Cricket Board) is getting and private companies should not benefit out of that. It’s the money of fans and sports lovers and should be used transparently,” he said.
There have been allegations of ill-gotten money flowing into the IPL from foreign tax heavens.
Wondering why the BCCI was against the Right to Information Act, Mr. Maken said the proposed inclusion of NSFs, including BCCI, under the legislation would bring transparency and stop controversies like the IPL tax violations.
All NSFs, including the BCCI, should come under RTI Act, that is what we have provided in the revised Bill. Application of RTI will bring transparency in running of sports in the country,” Mr. Maken said, asked about the objection by BCCI on several provisions of the revised Bill, including application of the RTI Act.
Mr. Maken said he was confident that the revised Bill would be cleared by the Cabinet which had rejected it earlier, before being tabled in the Parliament during the winter session which begins on November 22.
“I am hopeful the revised Bill will be cleared by the Cabinet and after that passed by the Parliament. We have taken into account the objections raised by members of the Cabinet last time and corrected them. All the NSFs and stakeholders have sent their suggestions and objections to the Bill after we sent it to them,” he said.
“We had given them two weeks time from October 14 and we are now compiling all the responses and we will now present the Bill after taking into account all the suggestions and objections,” he added.
Mr. Maken said the contentious provisions of age and tenure limitation, application of RTI Act to NSFs and those related to prevention of doping and sexual harassment would remain.
“The provisions on age and tenure limitation, application of RTI Act to NSFs and those on doping and sexual harassment would remain,” he said.