What do they mean by saying they donalt39t get government funds, so they shouldnalt39t come under RTI?

New Delhi

A day after the Indian cabinet rejected the national sports development bill, Sports Minister Ajay Maken

blasted the Board of Control for Cricket in India ( BCCI) for refusing to come under the Right to Information ( RTI) Act, reports IANS. ‘What do they mean by saying they donalt39t get government funds so shouldnalt39t come under RTI? They are indirectly getting government funds. How about the tax exemptions? How about the land they get? How much did they pay for the Ferozeshah Kotla?’said Maken.

‘BCCI does not have to pay entertainment tax; they donalt39t pay for the security provided during the matches by the government. Even the lands for the stadiums they use are generally given to them free of cost. So people have the right to know what is happening in the BCCI. People should know certain things because, at the end of the day, their team represents the country,’said the minister.

Maken said the sports ministry was not asking National Sports Federations ( NSF), including the BCCI, to reveal anything to the government, rather he wanted them to be accountable to the people.

‘We are not saying that they should be accountable to the government, but they must be accountable to the people of the nation because they enjoy certain benefits at the expense of the taxpayersalt39money,’said the sports minister.

‘We are not trying to control any federations. All we want is for them to be transparent and efficient. We want them to come under the RTI and to have age restrictions,’he said.

On the age limit of 70 set in the bill for NSF officebearers, Maken said: ‘What is their problem with age limit? Doesnalt39t the judiciary, the bureaucracy have age limits? Why canalt39t a good example be followed? ‘The bill was discussed in the union cabinet Tuesday.

According to reports, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P. Chidambaram supported the bill but Sharad Pawar, who is the president of the International Cricket Council ( ICC), Kapil Sibal, Praful Patel, who also heads the All India Football Federation ( AIFF), Kamal Nath and Farooq Abdullah were opposed to it.

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