The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association stadium in Dharamshala.
New Delhi: Despite reeling under a heavy tax burden and the freefall of the rupee, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is not shying away from assisting its state associations in building quality infrastructure to support the game.
Fifteen years ago, the BCCI had made a policy that each full member association could get up to Rs 50 crore for this purpose. Now, it is set to increase this largesse to a massive Rs 75 crore, taking into account a sharp increase in the prices of raw materials and other costs.
The all-important finance committee of the Board has recommended the increase to the working committee, and if it is satisfied, it will forward its recommendations to the general body for the final seal of approval.
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The general body could take up this issue in its September 29 meeting in Chennai.
“In a recent meeting of the finance committee, chaired by Jyotiraditya Scindia, the subsidy was raised to Rs 75 crore, despite the heavy taxes imposed on the Board. The committee took into account the scenario in the next five years, when the surplus could be an estimated Rs 2,500 crore, and then agreed to recommend the raise in subsidy,” a top BCCI official told MAIL TODAY.
The issue came up for discussion after the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA), also headed by Scindia, which is building a new stadium near Gwalior and Indore, wrote to the BCCI to enhance the subsidy from Rs 50 crore to Rs 100 crore in view of the escalating costs.
“At the moment, the finance committee has approved the raise to Rs 75 crore. We are now waiting for the general body to approve the same. If it finally approves it, all the associations would benefit, and not just MPCA,” MPCA secretary and former umpire Narendra Menon told MAIL TODAY.
The BCCI assists its units from the Infrastructure Development Fund (State Associations). In 2012- 13, the BCCI transferred Rs 100 crore to this fund; the corresponding figure in 2011- 12 was Rs 150 crore.
As at March 31, 2013, the fund had a balance of Rs 137.04 crore.
The BCCI distributed Rs 34.29 crore to the states during 2012-13.
This low figure was an exception when the BCCI disbursed less than Rs 110 crore among the members.
In each of the four years between 2008-09 and 2011-12, the Board distributed over Rs 110 crore.
Although Railways and Services are also full BCCI members and play in the Ranji Trophy and other tournaments, they are not entitled to assistance from this fund. But they, too, get support, as Services did last season for developing the Palam ground in New Delhi.
The BCCI had sanctioned Rs 10 crore for the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), too, a few years ago.
But since the Board had put a condition that the stadium should be built only for cricket, AIU couldn’t avail the assistance.
Besides assisting its full members, the BCCI also assists its associate and affiliate members every year. In 2012- 13, for instance, it accepted associate member Chhattisgarh State Cricket Sangh’s (CSCS) request to increase the annual subsidy from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 75 lakh.
While thanking the Board for raising the amount, CSCS secretary Rajesh Dave pointed to the rising costs. “I had requested for Rs 1.50 crore because teams’ travelling costs have gone up considerably and so are the expenses for conducting camps, besides other expenditure. For example, we would be spending around Rs 8 lakh on the ongoing fitness camp of 70 under-19 boys,” Dave told MAIL TODAY.
Reproduced from Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.