NEW DELHI, Feb 1: The Sports Ministry was on Thursday allocated Rs 3,442.32 crore, a hike of Rs 45.36 crore as compared to last year, in the interim Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
In the previous budget, the Sports Ministry had got a revised allocation of Rs 3,396.96 crore.
The Olympic Games in Paris, to be held from July 26 to August 11, will be the country’s main focus during the 2024-25 financial year. The ministry’s flagship programme, Khelo India, was allotted Rs 900 crore, an increase of Rs 20 crore from the previous budget.
The Sports Authority of India (SAI), which organises national camps, provides infrastructure and equipment to athletes, appoints coaches among others, saw Rs 26.83 crore increase in its budgetary allocation from the previous year’s revised expenditure of Rs 795.77 crore.
The National Sports Federations (NSFs) will receive Rs 15 crore more this time, as compared to the 2023-24 revised budget of Rs 325 crore. The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) too got a raise with the government allocating Rs 22.30 crore in the interim budget as compared to Rs 21.73 crore in 2023-24.
The National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL), which conducts the testing of dope samples, will receive Rs 22 crore, Rs 2.5 crore more than the previous budget.
The budget for National Centre of Sports Science and Research has been reduced to Rs 8 crore from Rs 10 crore previously, while the National Sports University will get an increased allocation of Rs 91.90 crore from Rs 83.21 crore of 2023-24 budget.
The budget for giving incentives to sportspersons saw a significant reduction from Rs 84 crore to Rs 39 crore. The allocation for National Sports Development Fund was also reduced to Rs 18 from Rs 46 crore. The Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay National Welfare for Sportspersons scheme got Rs 2 crore.
The allocation for ‘Enhancement of Sports Facility in Jammu and Kashmir’ was also brought down to Rs 8 crore from previous budget allocation of Rs 20 crore. In the previous budget, the allocation for Commonwealth Games was Rs 15 crore, which was brought down to Rs 0.01 crore this time.
IOA chief PT Usha welcomes budget boost
Indian Olympic Association President PT Usha said that the fund boost would help the athletes in having specialized training programmes.
“In this Olympic year, the positive aspect is the increased support for athlete training programmes. With enhanced funding, our athletes can access better coaching, sports science support, and other essential resources, ultimately improving their performance on the global stage,” Usha told PTI.
“This is a positive step towards nurturing talent from the grassroots level and creating a robust sports ecosystem in the country. It will also help in talent identification at the grassroots level through Khelo India programmes.”
Emphasizing the significance of increased support for athlete training programmes, Usha underlined the crucial role of financial backing of the athletes.
“Financial backing is crucial for athletes to focus on their training without concerns about resources,” she said. “I believe that with collaborative efforts between the government, sports organizations, and the public, we can achieve greater heights in the world of sports,” she concluded. (PTI)
The post Sports Ministry gets Rs 45 crore boost in Union Budget; IOA chief Usha welcomes it appeared first on DailyExcelsior.