Budget 2018: Arun Jaitley announces 258.2 crore hike to Sports Ministry
What's the story?
The much-awaited Union Budget of 2018 was delivered on the 1st of February by finance minister Arun Jaitley. As per the new budget, the Sports Ministry saw a hike of Rs 258.2 Crores, as stated by Jaitley at the parliament in New Delhi.
Arun Jaitley has allocated a sum total of 2196.36 Crores to the ministry, a definite hike compared to last year's 1938.16 Crores. However, an unexpected announcement was the reduced funding that was allocated to the Sports Authority of India.
In case you didn't know...
The sports budget saw a drastic hike, with one of the reasons being the upcoming Asian and Commonwealth Games this year.
The heart of the matter
While the Sports Ministry definitely saw a hike in its funding this year, the sum allocated to the Sports Authority of India was quite distinguished. Standing out as a surprise element in the announcement of the Budget, the SAI was funded with 429.56 Crores, a drastic decline compared to its 495.73 Crore allocation last year. This year the SAI saw a cut of about 66 Crores in its funding by the finance minister.
Twitteratis took it upon themselves to highlight their feelings about this new development.
What was highlighted was the fact that the budget meted out to the SAI was lesser than what was spent on the 2-day IPL auction by the 8 franchises involved? A total of Rs 431.4 Crore was spent in just 2 days on the auction, while 429.56 Crores has been granted to the SAI for an entire year.
Further, the category that saw a large allocation was the "Khelo India" project. It received a whopping amount of 520.09 crores as compared to last year's 350 crores. Khelo India now constitutes 23.6% of this year's total budget.
The incentives for sportspersons have seen a hike to 23 crores, from last year's 18.13 crores. The Youth and Sports Services have received an amount of Rs 1935.15 crore as compared to last year’s Rs 1712.06 crore.
The National Service Scheme has got 160 crores from 144 crores, while the National Youth Corps have been granted 80 crores from 60.
On the other hand, the budgetary assistance involved for the enhancement of sports in Jammu and Kashmir has been slashed from 75 crores to 50 crores.
The finance minister has also announced a 40 crore hike for the various National Sports Federations (NSF).
The 2 crore sum for the National Sports Development Fund(NSDF) remained static. while the budget for the World Anti Doping Agency(WADA) remained stagnant at 1 crore as well.
The Human Resource Development saw a 50% cut from 10 crores to 5 crores.
This hike in the sports budget has arrived when India is gearing up for the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games this year. The Indian athletes are also preparing for the Tokyo Olympics that will be held in 2020.
The new sports budget has seen a good hike, taking into the consideration that 2 major sports events will take place this year. Here's hoping that India has a good stint at the Asian and Commonwealth Games.