‘Verma has distorted facts’
Ministry Says BAI Received Over Rs 10 Cr In Last 4 Years
Bangalore: The sports ministry on Tuesday took exception to Badminton Association of India’s claim that the government provided Rs 20 lakh per year as financial assistance, saying that the federation received Rs 10.39 crore in the last four years. Joint secretary Injeti Srinivas said as per government budget expenditure figures, BAI got Rs 1.17 crore in 2006-07, Rs 1.99 crore in 2007-08, Rs 2.65 crore in 2008-09 and Rs 4.58 crore in 2009-10.
“This is excluding expenditure on national coaching camps conducted by Sports Authority of India and engagement of foreign coaches,” Srinivas said, adding that the ministry was also providing support for procurement of imported shuttlecocks and mats, amounting to around Rs 70 lakh annually.
Referring to a letter from BAI president VK Verma, addressed to the federation’s executive committee members, which ‘grossly reduced the quantum of government assistance’, Srinivas said Verma had distorted facts and had given a misleading picture to the member units. “This issue will have to be raised in the general body meeting on June 13 in Chennai,” he said. The ministry also said it had deputed its director (sports) Deepika Kachhal as the government observer for the June 13 meeting although BAI had raised objections to such a move.
“BAI should have no objection to the presence of a government observer at the meeting... when the majority funding was coming from the government. The Taekwondo Federation of India, Handball Federation of India conducted their elections with our observers being part of the process. The recent meeting of the Indian Hockey Federation too was attended by our observers. The present attitude of the BAI president, as though the government is a non-entity in sports development, is contrary to the IOC Charter which recognises the role of state in sports development.”
Srinivas also said the ministry was yet to receive confirmation from BAI whether its general body meeting on June 13 is to elect its office-bearers. “The BAI president has to supply all relevant papers, including the election schedule, details of the election process, date and venue etc. However, BAI has not furnished the information to the ministry. This not only violates government guidelines but vitiates the entire election process,” he said.
| New Delhi: By telling the government that it no longer needs financial assistance from it, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) becomes the first sports association, apart from the BCCI, to say no government support. The move also clears the ground for VK Verma’s reelection and sets him free of any restriction that may have been imposed by the sports ministry in view of his holding the post for more than the recently-stipulated upper limit of 12 years. Verma confirmed to TOI that he has received representation from 22 state associations against Azhar and that BAI has written to the ministry on issue of self-reliance.
The BAI’s letter to the sports ministry says ‘‘(just) as BCCI does not seek financial assistance, the BAI executive com- mittee has decided not to seek financial assistance from the ministry of youth affairs and sports and to conduct its activities from funds raised through sponsorships’’.
By referring to BCCI, the BAI has reminded the government that it has not enforced any of its guidelines on the cricket board simply because it has been raising its own funds. Unlike any other sports federations, BCCI does not accept a government nominee in its team selection, the BAI letter points out.
After the sports ministry had called for fixing tenures of sports administrators and having a retirement age, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had rejected the contention terming it ‘‘anti-sports’’ and ‘‘arbitrary’’. The IOA had asked national sports federations not to amend their constitution to incorporate the new guidelines.