Union Budget 2017: Sports budget hiked by Rs 351 crore
A total of Rs. 1943 crore was allocated to the Sports Ministry.
What’s the story?
On Wednesday, the Sports Ministry budget got a substantial hike equalling to an amount of nearly Rs. 350 crore. The union budget was presented earlier in the day by Arun Jaitley, the finance minister of India, in the Parliament in New Delhi.
A total of Rs. 1943 crore was allocated to the Sports Ministry, a substantial increase from the Rs. 1592 crore that had been earmarked for last year.
In case you didn’t know…
The Union Budget of India, which is also referred to as the Annual financial statement, is presented by the government on the first day of February every year. It is the annual budget of the Republic of India which comes into effect on the first day of April every year.
Earlier today, when the union budget was being announced by the finance minister, many were shocked to see that sports did not get a single mention.
The heart of the matter
Out of the Rs. 1943 crore being allocated to sports, the Sports Authority of India (SAI), which is entrusted with the task of organising national camps has been granted Rs. 481 crore, an increase from Rs. 416 crore allocated for last year.
However, the allocation for sports promotion among the disabled has been cut down to only Rs. 1 lakh, compared to the Rs. 4 crore allocation last year. The contribution to the National Sports Development fund has also been cut down to Rs. 2 crore from Rs. 5 crore.
Other allocations like those for the national sports federations, Benefit of North Eastern Area, National Service Scheme has been increased significantly. There has been no change in the allocation for sports in the Jammu and Kashmir which stays at Rs. 75 crore.
Another notable feature is that only a meagre sum of Rs 50 lakh has been allocated for the identification and development of sports talent in the country. The total allocation for Khelo India has witnessed an increase from Rs 140 crore to Rs 350 crore.
Two big sporting events, the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games, are scheduled to be held next year. The increase in budgetary allotment could not have come at a better time for the Indian athletes who are preparing for these two events.
Although the athletes will benefit from the steep increase in the budgetary allotment, the fact that no mention about sports was made during the announcement remains an issue that will cause furore.
Not only vision, but adequate funding, infrastructure and a proper system run by people who are serious about sport is also necessary to win medals in big sporting events. With the hike, the government has shown that they are serious about taking sports in the country forward. If only Mr. Jaitley had mentioned this in the announcement, though.