Tired of answering questions on the standoff between BCCI and the Sports Ministry over the National Sports Bill, Sports Minister Ajay Maken on Monday sought to put the record straight by saying that the government is not trying to control the board through proposed legislation.
"It's wrong to interpret this proposed bill as a clash between BCCI and the Sports Ministry. Through this bill, we try to bring transparency, good governance and de-control from government intervention," Maken said.
"The government is not trying to control the federations (NSFs). The Bill will be introduced for all 66 sporting disciplines and cricket is one part of it. If cricket is a sport then it should become part of the Bill," he added.
The BCCI had rejected the revised draft of the bill that seeks to regulate the functioning of the Cricket Board, saying certain aspects of the bill are meant to "destroy the autonomy" of the cricket governing body.
Relations between the BCCI and sports ministry have been strained over the contentious issue. BCCI, which is an autonomous body, and some other sports organisations such as Indian Olympic Association (IOA) have opposed the legislation.
The bill was revised after the cabinet did not give its approval to it. The proposed bill wants to give BCCI the status of a National Sports Federation and therefore bring it under the purview of the RTI Act.
Maken said if the federations wish to bring transparency and accountability to their working, then they should unanimously support the proposed bill for the betterment of sports in the country.
"If you don't have any vested interest, then become part of it and make your accounts public. There is not a single clause in the bill which encroaches upon the powers of NSFs," Maken said at an interactive session organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to discuss and deliberate upon the issues in the proposed National Sports Development Bill with select CEOs and industry leaders.
The Sports Minister said in case of any flouting of law, the government can refer the matter to the Independent Appellate Sports Tribunal.
Maken also revealed that the Sports Ministry is planning to make National Institute of Sports (NIS) an autonomous body after it was demerged from Sports Authority of India.
"We want to make NIS Patiala an autonomous institution where we can impart training to the coaches. We want to make it coaches training centre. We are also planning to set up National Institute of Sports Science and Medicines at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi," he said.
The NISSM will support elite sportspersons and integrate sports science and medicine into the training of high performance sportspersons and into the teaching curriculum of sports coaching in the country.
On Sydney Olympics bronze medallist Karnam Malleswari resigning as the vice-president of Indian Weightlifting Federation, Maken said, "The concerned federation and the IOA have to take a decision in this matter, so they would be better able to answer this question. If situation arises, then the government will interfere in the matter."