New Delhi, February 2: The government on Saturday (February 1) allocated Rs 2826.92 crore to the sports budget for the next financial year, which is up by a mere Rs 50 crore from the revised estimates of 2019-20.
The government gave a substantial hike of Rs 291.42 crore to its flagship Khelo India programme for development of sports at the grassroot and youth level, which meant that most of the other heads got reduced allocation in an Olympic year.
The highest reduction was for National Sports Federations with Rs 245.00 crore being allocated in the union budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Rs 55 crore less than the revised Rs 300.85 for 2019-20.
As far as incentives for sportspersons are concerned, the budget has proposed to slash the amount from Rs 111 crore to Rs 70 crore. The budget for National Sports Development Fund also got reduced to Rs 50.00 from the earlier Rs 77.15 crore.
On behalf of the sporting fraternity, I thank PM @narendramodi ji & FM @nsitharaman ji for a robust #JanJanKaBudget. With an increased Sports Budget, we are better placed to identify, nurture grassroot-level talents and support our existing athletes through #KheloIndia Scheme! pic.twitter.com/4qgtL9JTe5— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) February 1, 2020
The government also reduced the allocation to Sports Authority of India (SAI) from the revised Rs 615 crore to Rs 500 crore. The SAI is the nodal organisation to manage nationals camps, provide infrastructure, equipment and other logistics to the country''s sportspersons.
The allocation for the 2010 Commonwealth Games-SAI stadia renovation was also slashed to Rs 75 crore from Rs 96 crore last year.
National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons will continue to get the same amount of Rs 2 crore as earlier, while, at Rs 50 crore, there was also no change in the allocation for the enhancement of sports facilities in Jammu and Kashmir.
Laxmi Bai National Institute of Physical Education will, however, get Rs 55 crore, Rs 5 crore more than the last budget.
In the budget for 2019-20, Rs 2216.92 was allocated for sports but it was later revised to 2776.92.