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Lodha tells banks to halt two BCCI disbursements

The Lodha Committee has asked two banks not to disburse funds from the BCCI accounts to the state associations with regard to two decisions taken at the board's emergent working committee meeting

Nagraj Gollapudi
03-Oct-2016
The Lodha Committee has asked two Indian banks not to disburse funds from the BCCI accounts to the state associations with regard to two financial decisions taken at the board's emergent working committee meeting on September 30.
At the meeting on Friday the BCCI decided that all its full members - with the exception of the out-of-favour Rajasthan Cricket Association - would get INR 10 crores as an increment to the state associations' existing infrastructure subsidy of INR 60 crore. The working committee also decided that money received from the broadcaster as compensation for the cancellation of the Champions League T20 would be distributed among the BCCI's full members.
The committee said it had issued such a directive to the banks because the BCCI's decision to disburse such funds was not in line with the recommendations of the Lodha report, which the Supreme Court said the board must adopt in its order on July 18.
"It has come to the notice of this Committee that certain decisions have been taken at the 'Emergent Working Committee' meeting of the BCCI on 30th September 2016 to disburse large funds to the various member associations," the Lodha Committee said to Bank of Maharashtra and Yes Bank in an email that was also copied to BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke, treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry and chief executive Rahul Johri. "You are aware that by way of this Committee's direction dated 31.8.2016, no further decisions were to be taken regarding the future apart from routine matters. The disbursement of these amounts are not routine, and in any case, not emergent."
The banks were told that the BCCI had "breached" the Supreme Court order by failing to comply with the first round of timelines set by the Lodha Committee, the deadline for which was September 30. At its special general meeting on October 1, the BCCI accepted some of the Lodha Committee's recommendations when the court had said it had to implement everything it had passed.
"You are also aware that the BCCI has chosen to breach the judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court as well as the first set of timelines set out by this Committee which includes the Fund Disbursement policy to be framed by 30.9.2016," the committee said in its email. "As the status report is to be taken up for directions by the Hon'ble Court on Thursday, 6.10.2016, you are hereby directed not to take any steps towards financial disbursement of the amounts as resolved/approved after the direction dated 31.8.2016. Any violation of this direction will be placed before the Hon'ble Supreme Court for appropriate directions."
The emergent working committee meeting, which preceded the SGM that was eventually adjourned on September 30, was not made public by the BCCI. It is understood that the agenda and the minutes of both the working committee meeting as well the SGM, which eventually took place on October 1, were not sent to the Lodha Committee.
The Lodha Committee, ESPNcricinfo has learned, was concerned about the two specific financial decisions because they involved large amounts. In the BCCI's annual report, released on September 23, Chaudhry had said the board "received a compensation of INR 1607.58 Crores (net of payment made to foreign boards) on account of termination of the rights agreement" for the Champions League Twenty20, which was discontinued last year.
As for the infrastructure subsidy, BCCI president Anurag Thakur had said that it would be increased to INR 70 crore from the 2016-17 financial year - INR 10 crore more than what the board had decided in the annual report.  The subsidy is granted to states based on the claims and relevant documentation submitted, along with independently authenticated certificates of chartered accountants, which should meet the norms set by the board.

Nagraj Gollapudi is a senior assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo