SAI needs to be more accountable: Maken

New Delhi: Sports Minister Ajay Maken on Thursday
said he wants to make the Sports Authority of India (SAI) more
accountable along with the NSFs through the proposed National
Sports Development Legislation.

Maken, however, clarified that the ministry has no
intentions of interfering in the functioning and autonomy of
the National Sports Federations.

"We would not like the government to be intrusive, we
will ensure that any intrusive provision in the bill should be
removed. We will also try to place some responsibility on SAI
because it also needs to be more accountable," Maken told
reporters here.

"NSFs have often accused the government of biased
approach. They said you have formed the legislation for the
sports bodies but there is no accountability for SAI. I know
that there is a need for improvement in the working of SAI and
through this draft bill, we will make SAI more acountable.”

"There is a lot of scope for improvement as far as SAI is
concerned. So, it is not only the NSFs where we would like to
bring more transparency but also to the SAI," he said.

The government had earlier constituted a committee headed
by retired Punjab and Haryana High Court chief justice Mukul
Mudgal to examine the draft bill to be tabled in the
parliament for deliberation in the monsoon session.

The legislation seeks to bring in transparency and good
governance in sports bodies in the country.

The committee also comprises of former badminton ace
Prakash Padukone and former athlete Ashwini Nachiappa as its

"Justice Mukul Mudgal was to submit the report today but
he is not in the town and will reach Delhi on Sunday. As soon
as he submits the report to me, I would personally look at
what he has suggested and accordingly move ahead," Maken said.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the NSFs had
earlier this month unanimously rejected the bill, opposing the
proposed legislation and describing it as an effort by the
government to take over the sports bodies in the country.

"We just want to bring good governance and transparency
in the NSFs. We want to fix the age and tenure limitation
issue. We will bring them under the ambit of Right to
Information act. The autonomy of NSFs will not be compromised.
We will try not to be intrusive," he added.


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