Sports Minister, M.S. Gill, on Thursday slammed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the ongoing controversy surrounding the Indian Premier League, saying it was time the Board was made accountable.
Replying to the debate on the functioning of the Ministry in Rajya Sabha, Gill said the government was keeping a close watch on the IPL activities.
“The IPL is under the scanner, we are watching very closely. Its affairs are being looked into with great detail,” Gill informed the House.
Coming down heavily on the BCCI, the Minister said the Board “took over everything to do with cricket after it got rich in the last 10-15 years. It is time the Board answers to India”.
Gill questioned the tax exemptions given to the BCCI, one of the richest sports bodies in the world, saying “there should not be any let off for anybody”.
State governments are also giving tax sops for different cricket events, he added.
“The BCCI could not be a regulator as also owner of the India team as there was a conflict of interest,” he said.
Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, has already assured Parliament that his Ministry would “get to the bottom of every angle and every aspect of IPL”, Gill said.
“We will wait for the report,” he said, adding the Sports Ministry is linked only to the BCCI.
He did not spare BCCI officials for the “state of affairs”. “They are taking too many roles. There is a gentleman who is the selector and also the brand ambassador of a team,” Gill said, without taking names.
He sought to dispel the notion that the government could not do anything in matters related to the BCCI. “No matter how passive the Ministry has been, they (BCCI) come to us for foreign tours.”
Gill said the government must recover the huge costs for security arrangements for the T20 matches, “which are commercial in nature”.
“You have to charge for that from those who (organisers) are benefiting commercially,” Gill said referring to the shifting of IPL matches from Bangalore to Navi Mumbai on security concerns.