BCCI office bearers incur claims of over INR 4 crore in two years
Just over 40% of the total figure of INR 4.62 crore - INR 1.87 crores - was spent on allowances for just four office bearers, including the three senior-most figures currently
Despite being honorary and thus unsalaried, the BCCI's office bearers have cost the board over INR 4 crore in various allowances over the last two years. The figure, and its break-up, was revealed by the Committee of Adminstrators (CoA) in its fifth status report submitted to the Supreme Court.
Just over 40% of the total figure of INR 4.62 crore (US$ 720,748) - INR 1.87 crores (US$ 291,731) - was spent on allowances for just four office bearers, including the three senior-most figures currently: CK Khanna (acting president), Amitabh Choudhary (acting secretary) and Anirudh Chaudhry (treasurer). The fourth is former BCCI president Anurag Thakur who was sacked by the court on January 2 this year. The figures cover the period from April 2015 to June 2017.
The biggest beneficiaries of the allowance are the pair of Choudhary and Chaudhry. The board has spent INR 92, 72,519 (US$ 144,657) on Chaudhry and INR 71, 79,068 (US$ 111,997) on Choudhary. During his tenure as secretary, Thakur received INR 17, 99,982 (US$ 28,080) in allowances.
Khanna, who took over as the acting BCCI president this March, has so far received INR 4, 86,755 (US$ 7593.6) as allowance for overseas trips - on just a single overseas trip, to England for the Champions Trophy. Ajay Shirke, who was the BCCI secretary between May 2016 and January 2 this year, is the only office bearer listed not to draw any allowance. The allowances are tax-free.
The BCCI pays a sum of INR 20,000 (US$ 312) to an office bearer for every working day and INR 30,000 (US$ 468) per day for a board meeting. The daily allowance on an overseas trip is US$750. Not included in the allowances are other expenses that the office bearers were reimbursed for. Choudhary claimed INR 3,93,319 (US$ 6136) as Other Expenses and a sum of INR 13, 51,061 (US$ 21,077) as Stay Charges. His phone bill during the period was INR 43,000 (US$ 671).
In comparison, Chaudhry's phone bill was almost six times: INR 2, 37,145 (US$ 3670). Chaudhry claimed INR 3, 41,603 (US$ 5329) as Other Expenses and INR 11, 03,893 (US$ 17,221) as Stay Charges. He also charged INR 91,877 (US$ 1433) as credit card expenses. Thakur's credit card expense was INR 1, 81,172 (US$ 2826) while he claimed INR 4, 20,463 (US$ 6715) as Stay Charges. The perks were not just limited to the office bearers, however. Their assistants also received allowances, though it is understood the assistants are on the payroll of the BCCI.
The CoA has not objected explicitly about the figures, but has raised concerns again about the BCCI's inability to implement reforms related to duties performed by the board's professional management without the consent of the general body.
Under the Lodha Committee's recommendations, while the daily administration of the BCCI is to be handled by the CEO Rahul Johri and his team, policy-making is the preserve of the nine-member Apex Council which includes the three elected office bearers. According to the CoA, the "delineation" of powers between the Apex Council and the professional management was the norm in the corporate world and in cricket bodies such as the ICC, the ECB and Cricket Australia.
The CoA said it would also allow a "smooth and efficient" functioning of the BCCI considering the professional management is housed at the board's headquarters in Mumbai while members of the Apex Council are spread around the country.
It pointed, as examples, to Khanna who is based in New Delhi, Choudhary who is in Ranchi while Chaudhry works from his office in Bhiwani in Haryana. "The BCCI currently incurs substantial expense in the form of air travel, hotel stay, ground transport as well as travel and other allowances to the honorary office bearers including when they travel to Mumbai in connection with the discharge of their duties," the CoA said.
Nagraj Gollapudi is a senior assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo