The government on Saturday (February 1) allocated ₹2,826.92 crore to the sports budget for the next financial year, which is up by a mere ₹50 crore from the revised estimates of 2019-20.
The government gave a substantial hike of ₹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 ₹245.00 crore being allocated in the union budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, ₹55 crore less than the revised ₹300.85 for 2019-20.
As far as incentives for sportspersons are concerned, the budget has proposed to slash the amount from ₹111 crore to ₹70 crore. The budget for the National Sports Development Fund also got reduced to ₹50.00 crore from the earlier ₹77.15 crore.
The government also reduced the allocation to Sports Authority of India (SAI) from the revised ₹615 crore to ₹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 ₹75 crore from ₹96 crore last year.
National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons will continue to get the same amount of ₹2 crore as earlier, while, at ₹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 ₹55 crore, ₹5 crore more than the last budget.
In the budget for 2019-20, ₹2,216.92 was allocated for sports but it was later revised to ₹2,776.92.