We are waiting for IOA response on Sports Bill: Maken

New Delhi: Sports Minister Ajay Maken on Thursday said he was waiting for a written reply from the Indian Olympic Association on the revised Draft Sports Bill, which has been termed as "draconian" by IOA acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra.

"We are waiting for their (IOA) written response on the revised Sports Bill. Once we receive it, then only we would be able to say something. We have sent them the revised Sports Bill and have asked them to reply back to us with their point of view. We want to implement this Bill as soon as possible," Maken told reporters on the sidelines of a felicitation ceremony being organised by the CRPF

"We have put the revised bill for discussion. We are inviting suggestions from the people concerned and are confident of it soon becoming a law. We hope that everyone supports it," the sports minister added.

Maken had this week unveiled a revised National Sports Development Bill that retained contentious provisions, including the age and tenure limitation of the IOA and NSFs officials, while inserting exclusion clause to the Right to Information Act to protect information regarding selection of athletes and their fitness status among others.

The revised Bill, which will be re-sent to the Cabinet after it asked the Sports Ministry to re-work on it, had also dropped the offices of the Ombudsman and National Sports Development Council from the original one.

Maken said he wanted the former and current athletes to play a big role in the working of NSFs.

"Players understand the game and they should be brought into the picture. We want more and more participation of players in NSFs. There are officials in NSFs who have been there at the helm of affairs for years and don`t want to relinquish their positions. They should understand this thing that the bill is for the betterment of sports.

"Implementing this Bill would bring transparency. We can have a new set of clean and younger lot, who would replace the current bunch of office-bearers in the IOA," he said.

Padam Shri awardees Gurbachan Singh Randhawa and N Kunjarani Devi also supported the revised Sports Bill and said it will bring transparency and accountability in the functioning of NSFs.

"I fully support the Sports Bill. It will bring in more transparency and good governance. I am hopeful that the revised Bill will get Cabinet`s approval," said Kunjarani.

"This is a very good move by the Sports Ministry and I am in full support of this Bill. But I would like to add one thing here that when you talk about bringing in more athletes into the working of NSFs these athletes should possess administrative and managerial skills. Otherwise it will serve no purpose," said Randhawa.


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