The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Tuesday claimed that avoiding obligations under the RTI was not the reason for its decision to refuse public funding.
“RTI has got nothing to do with our decision to desist from taking financial assistance from the govt. We are not avoiding public scrutiny. We have been transparent in our functioning and will continue to do so,” secretary general, Randhir Singh, clarified on Tuesday.
Randhir had written to the Sports Ministry on March 31 to inform it about the IOA’s decision.
Speaking to HT from Delhi, Randhir said the IOA had decided to guard its autonomy and allow the govt to use its funds to promote other bodies. “There are so many organizations that need government funding. Why should we take money from them if we can do without it?,” he said.
Asked how the IOA would raise funds for Indian contingents for mega events, Randhir said the International Olympic Council (IOC) and not the government paid for India’s participation in the Olympics. The IOC also gives annual grants, which the IOA plans to use for its activities. “For the Asian Games in China, all expenses will be subsidised and we will raise the necessary funds through sponsorship,” he said.
“The govt, through the Sports Authority of India, takes care of training of athletes and infrastructure. Now they will have more funds to do so,” he said.
Sources said the main reason for the IOA’s decision was the alleged interference by the Sports Ministry.
The ministry had recently issued guidelines for affiliation of national sports federations, making it mandatory for them to submit audited accounts every year and putting limitations on tenure of the honorary officials.