Punjab Sports and Youth Services Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, on Tuesday, termed 8.16% reduced union budget for sports as a sign of embarrassment, when there was a huge need for increased budgetary allocation in view of upcoming Tokyo Olympics-2021.
Rana Sodhi said that the Sports and Youth Affairs Ministry has been allocated Rs. 2596.14 crore in the budget of 2021-22, around Rs.230 crore less than the original allocation of Rs.2826.92 crore of the previous year 2020-21, which is down by 8.16 per cent.
Lashing out at union government’s apathy towards its ambitious ‘khelo India’ schemes, the Sports Minister said that the Khelo India has taken a hit of approximately Rs.230 crore, with its allocation slashed to Rs.660.41 crore from 890.42 crore.
Pointing out another downside of the union budget, the Sports Minister said that a slight increase of Rs.17 crore in the allocation for incentives for sportspersons is also inadequate. The union government has also reduced the amount allocated for renovation and maintenance of the infrastructure constructed for the 2010 commonwealth games by 50%, which would now be only 30 crore. Likewise, the National Sports Development Fund budget has been down by Rs.25 crore from Rs.50 crore.