CHANDIGARH: Having cancelled the felicitation function for the state's Commonwealth Games medal winners following a boycott threat by top athletes over a proposed cut in the prize money, the Haryana government today made clear it would give cash prizes to all 22 medallists without any deduction.
"It has been decided that all the 22 sportspersons of Haryana who won medals in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, would be given cash prizes without any deduction," the state's Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Anil Vij said.
Vij said he would prepare a file in this regard and send it to the chief minister for approval.
Earlier in April, the government had cancelled a felicitation function, with Vij then saying there was no provision in the existing sports policy to give award to those who have represented other bodies like Railways or the Army, but a relaxation had been made to give them the award money after deducting the amount they would get from their parent bodies.
Two days ago, another controversy erupted when the Haryana government asked sportspersons employed by it to deposit a third of their earnings from commercial and professional commitments to the state sports council but put the notification on hold after drawing sharp criticism.
Of the 22 CWG medallists from Haryana, 13 represent organisations such as Indian Railways and Army.
The Haryana government was to felicitate all the 22 medal winners at a state level function at Panchkula on April 26.
However, some medal winners threatened to boycott the event if the government did not withdraw its decision of making a deduction from the prize money following which the awards function was cancelled.
According to Haryana's sports policy, a CWG gold medallist from the state is to get Rs 1.5 crore, a silver-medallist Rs 75 lakh and a bronze-medallist Rs 50 lakh.
Interacting with reporters in Ambala, Vij also said today that appointment letters would be given to the 207 sportspersons who won medals in international competitions during the tenure of the previous Congress government as well as the present BJP government in the state.
Out-of-turn appointment would be made of 207 sportspersons who won medals in international competitions, he said.
"The file of these 207 sportspersons has already been approved by the chief minister," Vij said and expressed hope that work on issuing appointment letters would start this month.
Vij said an advertisement would be released in newspapers and the department would prepare a chart and upload it on its website to enable sportspersons to know the jobs being offered against the medals won by them.