homesports NewsSports Budget increased by Rs 305 crore to Rs 3062 crore, but is it enough?

Sports Budget increased by Rs 305 crore to Rs 3062 crore, but is it enough?

Sports Budget increased by Rs 305 crore to Rs 3062 crore, but is it enough?
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By Kartik Mehindru  Feb 1, 2022 9:34:19 PM IST (Published)

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, saw an increase in its budget allocation at Rs 3062.60 crore for FY22-23 -- an increase of Rs 305.58 crore -- compared to the last year, which is the highest ever allocation to the ministry

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget of India on Tuesday and her speech lasted for 90 minutes. The FM spoke on various topics, but unfortunately, sports didn't find much of a mention during her shortest speech so far.

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Nonetheless, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, saw an increase in its budget allocation at Rs 3062.60 crore for FY22-23 -- an increase of Rs 305.58 crore -- compared to the last year, which is the highest ever allocation to the ministry.
India's success at the Tokyo Olympics and the upcoming sporting events scheduled this year including the Asian Games, Winter Olympics, Commonwealth Games, the Women's FIH Hockey World Cup among others seem to have influenced this year's allocation, which is a welcome move.
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But the question remains of whether or not, this allocation is substantial enough? Let's look at numbers here. Khelo India, a scheme that looks to boost India's sporting culture, has seen a gradual increase in allocation over the years. The upward trend continued this year, and the funds allocated increased by over Rs 100 crore.
The Sports Authority of India saw a marginal increase in allocation at Rs 653 crore against the revised estimates of the previous fiscal that stood at Rs 599 crore.
The forecast estimate for FY21 amounted to Rs 660 crore. Comparing the latest allocation of Rs 653 crore against the FY21 amount, reflects a slight dip in allocation.
Looking at the upcoming events, including the Summer Olympics 2024, the increase in allocation could have been more considering the infrastructure needs for such a marquee event.
Also, considering that Arif Khan is India's sole representative at the Winter Olympics, a raise in SAI's allocation could have helped in developing infrastructure to nurture talent for future competitions.
Assistance to the National Sports Federation stood at 280 crore, same as the forecast estimates of FY21. But comparing it with the revised estimates of Rs 181 crore for FY21, a jump of Rs 100 crore can be seen. We'll need to wait and watch until the next budget to see how the funds are utilised.
Another area that could encourage more sportspersons is the rewards handed to them. In the previous fiscal, the amount set aside for rewarding them was Rs 363 crore. This has been revised to Rs 245 crore. For FY22-23, the Finance Minister has proposed an amount of Rs 357 crore, but it depends on the way you look at it. If the amount is reduced next year, then there isn't much change in the allocation.
If we compare ourselves to a powerhouse like China, we are far away. For example, China spent almost 10 billion yuan ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. The results were for everyone to see as they bagged 88 medals.
The increase in the budget allocation is a welcome move, but multiple changes are needed if we want to match the success of countries like China and the US.
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