Khelo India set for massive facelift after government ups sports budget to 3000 crore
Khelo India, the flagship sports event of the government which focuses on the development of talent right from the grassroots levels to the U-25 level is set to receive a major facelift after India's finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a total of ₹890.42 crore for the programme, a massive hike of ₹314.42 crore when compared to last year's budget of ₹578 crore.
In terms of the overall picture, the government has allocated a total of ₹2826.92 crore to the sports budget for the next financial year, which is up by a mere ₹50 crore as compared to the revised sports budget from the previous financial year.
Sports Secretary, RS Julaniya satisfied with the budget, said, “It meets our present needs and provides for future aspirations. Impact on our efforts of talent scouting and improving quality and quantity of sports training would be in 2021-22, as there is always a time lag,"
The Sports Authority of India is the apex authority of sports in India, the body which is responsible to manage centres of excellence, camps, regional centres, and many other development initiatives. Despite its role, and the Olympics in the picture, SAI has faced the highest slash, as the government revised the allocation from ₹615 crore to ₹500 crore. According to the sports secretary, there have been major cuts in SAI's because all the SAI Tranining Centres are now under the Khelo India Scheme.
The other verticals of the sports budget have received enormous reductions in their respective budgets, with the National Sports Federations facing a cut of ₹55 crores. The Federations will receive ₹245.00 crores as compared to ₹300.85 crores from the 2019-20 budget.
While the National Sports Development Fund has been slashed from ₹77.15 crores to ₹50 crores, one of the biggest talking points from the budget announcement was the massive reduction in allocation for the incentives received by sportspersons, taking a cut from ₹110 crores last year to ₹70 crores this year. This steep fall is because the ministry has cleared all backlog in special cash awards this year.
Also, the budget for the renovation of the 2010 Commomwealth Games - SAI Stadia is reduced from ₹96 crore last year to ₹75 crore this year. However, the Lakshmi Bai National Institute of Physical Education will get of ₹5 crore bringing it to ₹55 crore for the coming financial year.
The same budget of ₹2 crore has been allocated to the National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons. Similarly, with a ₹50 crore allocation, there is no change of budget for the development of sports facilities in Jammu and Kashmir.
He further added, "We rationalised and simplified the budget, accounting for better accountability and impact.” Understandably, for various schemes of Khelo India, there has been an increase of Rs 291.42 crore — from Rs 724 crore (2019- 2020 revised allocation) to 1015.42 crore."
Published 02 Feb 2020, 14:25 IST