The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) spent nearly Rs 1 crore on official engagements of its top office-bearers from January to June this year, according to a detailed half-yearly official expense sheet, and emails of foreign exchange and air travel approvals, accessed by The Indian Express. Half of this amount was spent on TA/DA allowance. The data revealed that BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary alone claimed Rs 25 lakh as ‘TA/DA’ reimbursement from the board for 110 days of travel.
Acting president C K Khanna and acting treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry took home Rs 6 lakh and Rs 15 lakh, respectively, in similar benefits, during the same period. As per BCCI travel policy, the office bearers are allowed to spend $750 per day overseas and Rs 20,000 in India – apart from other benefits such as five-star accommodation, vehicle for local travel and first-class air-travel.
The report claimed that Choudhary got $6,000 for his 8-day trip to the UK last month after the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) approved the BCCI CFO’s mail that listed the per diem entitlement.
“Received revised ticket for AS (acting secretary). Leaving India on 26 June 2018 and returning on 5 July 2018 (leaving UK on 4 July 2018). FX (forex) for 8 days @750 USD = 6,000 USD … Seek your approval,” the CFO wrote.
The issue of allowances paid to office bearers was recently raised by CoA chairman Vinod Rai. Interestingly, the captain of the Indian cricket team Virat Kohli gets $125 per diem while the executive assistant of BCCI office-bearers gets $350.
Responding to this, treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry told The Indian Express that the allowances were proposed by BCCI CEO Rahul Johri at a meeting in July 2016 and approved by the CoA this year. “Two months ago, the rates were revised for everyone, and issued by none other than Vinod Rai. When he revised and issued it, the DA for office-bearers remained $750. In fact, it has remained constant for the last two years without any change. So what is he cribbing about?” he said.
The report claims that Amitabh Choudhary travelled to Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Vadodara, Bengaluru, Cape Town, Christchurch, Kuala Lumpur, Kabul and Bhutan for various assignments ranging from selection meetings, the IPL auction, court hearings, interaction with government officials and to witness Test matches.