Aiyar blames BAI, NRAI for problems of shuttlers and shooters

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New Delhi, Feb 14 (UNI) The Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs, Mani Shankar Aiyar, today held BAI and NRAI responsible for the problems being faced by the shuttlers and shooters in their training camps.

''The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) should have made advance arrangements for ammunition as they were fully aware of its importance,'' Aiyar said.

The minister was replying to the queries of the mediapersons who asked him about the lack of ammunition for the shooters ahead of the Beijing Olympics.

''It is the defficiency of the federation. There is a pro-active manner in which issues can be solved. You need license for ammunition. They should try to get it in time.

''When these people need driving licenses, they have to get it in time. The same rule applies to ammunition also.'' Commenting on the badminton camp for the Thomas and Uber Cups which had to be abandoned because of lack of shuttle-cocks due to birdflu in China, he said, ''there is a lack of planning and foresight within the Badminton Association of India (BAI). They should have made alternate arrangements.'' ''Just because some Chinese chickens have got birdflu does not mean that our players should be deprived of valuable practice,'' he added, ''This incident should serve as a lesson for the future.'' ''There is a need to improve co-ordination between the sports ministry, the national sports federations and SAI,'' the minister said.

When asked why sportspersons should suffer due to blunders committed by the sports ministry, the federations and the SAI, he said, ''It is not our intention that sportsmen should suffer.

The problems should be sorted out between the ministry, the federations and the SAI.'' ''All stakeholders should wake up so these blunders do not happen again,'' he added.

Stressing on the need for transparency, the minister said, ''I want to see transparency not only in the national sports federations but also in the SAI.'' When quizzed whether the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) which involves crores of rupees should be taxed, Aiyar said, ''fortunately cricket takes no public money. So there is no question of taxation.'' UNI AB RAR BD1944

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