Furious with National Sports Federations for not complying with its tenure and age limitation guidelines, the Sports Ministry on Tuesday threatened to deny annual recognition to NSFs which refuse to fall in line.
In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Sports Minister M S Gill said out of 68 NSFs, only 42 have been accorded annual recognition for this year.
"With a view to ensuring proper adherence to the government guidelines, a system of annual recognition of NSFs has been introduced with effect from the current calendar year," Gill said.
"Under this system, annual recognition is granted to those federations that fully comply with the government guidelines. During the current year, out of the total 68 NSFs, only 42 have been accorded annual recognition for 2010," he added.
Gill said the recent elections held in the Badminton Association of India (BAI) and the Swimming Federation of India (SFI) were in violation of the guidelines.
"The Badminton Association of India and the Swimming Federation of India have held elections in June and elected office bearers who are in breach of the government guidelines with regard to age and tenure," he said.
The recognition from the government makes NSFs eligible for financial grants, railway concessions, income tax exemption and other tax benefits.
Gill said the Ministry was unhappy with the federations' functioning as they had failed to comply with guidelines meant to ensure transparency and fair administration.
"The government is not satisfied with the functioning of the NSFs because none of them have fully complied with the good governance practices prescribed by the government in the guidelines for recognition of NSFs," he said.
"A recent study undertaken by the government shows that most of the NSFs are not having proper election bye-laws that can ensure fair and transparent elections.
"Similarly, most federations do not have reservation for the representation of sportspersons on their respective management and also do not have a proper grievance redressal mechanism for sportsperson," he added.
The Ministry's guidelines require that the President of any NSF, including the Indian Olympic Association should not be in office for more than three terms and set the age limit for all office-bearers at not more than 70.
The IOA and NSFs have rejected the guidelines, claiming that the directions are an assault on their autonomy.
The International Olympic Committee also had its say on the matter and threatened to take away India's Olympic status if the guidelines were implemented.