Indian Sports in recent times has seen a big high. Shattering records of last so many years, Indian athletes are taking major strides at national and international events. While the infrastructure is improving, the performances plus the results in the form of medals has also witnessed a positive sign.
Despite power-packed performances and good results, the Finance Ministry has proposed to cut the budget allocation of Youth Affairs and Sports by 22 % – which is almost one-fourth the amount. This is due to the low spending during the first of the fiscals, as claimed by a report of Times of India.
On the monetary terms, the sports department will see a budget cut of around Rs. 350 crores, while the Youth Affairs might see a cut of Rs. 139 crores. This cut would do a total of Rs. 489 crores out of Rs.2, 196 crore allocation.
This is believed to have a huge setback impact on Indian athletes. Despite impressive performances, this reduction might shake the confidence of the players. Indian athletes have time and again, displayed excellence at international events and decisions like this will hamper their preparations for the forthcoming events.
Although, the sports ministry is reportedly in talks with the finance ministry, in order to reconsider the decision. It is also believed that the department also believes that the reduction in budget will adversely affect the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and National Sports Federation (NSF)’s ability to fund their athletes.
According to the data from the Controller General of Accounts, the ministry has spent Rs 595 Cr, 27 percent of the allocation between April and September.
Also, the ministry had used 47 percent of the funds allocated to it at the same point in 2017-18. The capital expenditure until September 2018 was about Rs 20 lakh.
According to the examination report, it showed a reduction of Rs 25 crore, from Rs 429.56 crore to Rs 404.56 crore in SAI’s budget and cut of Rs 72.06 crore from Rs 342 crore to Rs 269.94 crore to the assistance budget to NSF.
Khelo India, which is the country’s latest scholarship scheme to promote sports in India, is also expected to see a massive loss with a proposed cut of Rs 220 crore.
Notably, the Khelo India campaign is all set to begin from January, which would identify and finance talent. It aims to revive the sports culture in India at the grassroot level.
India’s remarkable feats this year
The Indian sports scenario is getting better day by day. Indian athletes displayed outstanding performances in the three big multi-sport events this year – The Commonwealth Game, Youth Olympic Games and the Asian Games.
66 medals in Commonwealth Games, 69 in the Asian Games and 13 medals in the Youth Olympics, the country couldn’t have asked for anything more.
Indian athletes’ outstanding performances which needed to be celebrated and boosted, might take a setback with this move.
Already, the road ahead was not only filled with challenges but was also fragile, that demands more care in the preparation of athletes.
We needed to raise that already set bar. We needed to prepare the cream to be on a higher quest.
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