The government on Tuesday expressed its desire to enact the National Sports Development Bill, “in the larger interest of Indian sports”, as Sports Minister Ajay Maken emphasised that the government was only asking national federations to enforce the Olympic Charter and said there was no question of government interference.

Stating that the proposed legislation would be based on the basic universal principles of good governance, apart from good international legislative practices in other countries like USA, France, Sri Lanka, etc, Maken stressed that problems of anti-doping, sexual harassment and age fraud would also be covered under the National Sports Development Code of India.

“The draft bill will be put up on the website on February 20, and kept for discussion for a month. Thereafter, there will be an internal scrutiny for two more weeks,” the minister said, as he provided the road map for the proposed legislation to be enacted in Parliament.

Minister's appeal

Pointing out that many federations like athletics, badminton, boxing, golf, gymnastics, hockey, rowing, shooting, tennis, volleyball, weightlifting and yachting had already accepted the government's guidelines for good governance, the minister appealed to the sports fraternity, without naming the concerned officials, to respect the tenure and age limit rules so as to “liberate” Indian sports.

He sought each federation to have sportspersons for about 20 per cent of its membership, with voting rights, apart from having proper grievance redressal mechanism, to provide Indian sports a better direction.

The minister said the points had mainly been taken from the 13th Olympic Congress and IOC Charter, even as he highlighted the IOC guidelines advising the National Olympic Associations to work in harmony with the government to retain its autonomy.

He was categorical in saying there was no more talk of policy, but the government was seriously talking law.

Connect with BCCI

Stressing that a good atmosphere had been created with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) following a recent dialogue, the minister said the Board would have to follow the norms for a National Sports Federation so as to avail the matching benefits.

The minister assured that he would soon present all details about the plans to prepare the Indian team for the Olympics in London in 2012, apart from the concrete steps being taken for the utilisation of the infrastructure created for the Commonwealth Games.

It was mentioned that the disparity of payment for coaches had been addressed and that coaches across all disciplines would get Rs. 50,000 per month as remuneration.

On another subject, the minister said the Organising Committee of the CWG had conveyed payment of Rs. 305.95 crore to 45 foreign companies, and that only Rs. 17.8 crore had been withheld from nine of those companies owing to unsatisfactory work.

Keywords: BCCISports Ministry

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