The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to relax rules to grant infrastructure subsidy to state associations. At the recent Apex Council meeting, the BCCI passed a resolution enabling the state units to claim subsidy on infrastructure expenses that are as old as up to six years. Normally, claims of 24 months only get sanctioned.
“Apex council may consider to relax the current window of submission of bills within 24 months and can fix the cut-off date as 1st January 2016. Hence any expenses incurred by State Cricket Associations post 1st January 2016 will be allowed to submit the bills to BCCI for one time only,” the resolution states. The apex council passed the resolution.
The move has been initiated in view of lack of approvals for infrastructure claims during the tenure of the Supreme Court-Appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA). It was mainly because the Apex Court had ordered to freeze subsidy till the state units adopted the Lodha Committee reforms. The BCCI was run by the COA from January 2017 to October 2019.
The resolution provides the background too. “The current Infrastructure policy states that the claims have to be submitted within 2 years (24 months) from the date of expenditure incurred. During the COA time due to payment restrictions to associations, no infrastructure claims were submitted or claimed by the associations as COA’s were not releasing any funds to the State Cricket Associations,” it states.
The Apex Council was informed that a few states units have sought reimbursement after the expiry of 24-month cut-off deadline. “Recently, we have received claims from few associations for the earlier period also. All the claims are verified and as per the Policy except the expiry of the submission date,” treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal informed the Apex Council in a written submission.
The BCCI policy allows the state associations to claim repayment up to up to 50 per cent of the actual expenditure incurred during the infrastructure development as defined in the policy. Generally, the states spend up to Rs 300 crore and they could seek refund up to Rs 150 crore.
However, the BCCI said the relaxation is a one-off concession and will be applicable to the old claims submitted before October 15. “Post expiry of the relaxation period, the existing rules of submission within 24 months of expenditure incurred will apply,” the resolution states.
The states have understandably welcomed the move but said there is not much time for the new deadline. “During the COA, funds were not being sanctioned not only because of the binding Supreme Court but also because CoA was never in favour of the state units. In view of that, this is a good initiative but we may have to request the office-bearers to extend the deadline from October 15 to a later date as there is not much time to organise claims,” a state official said.