Covid pandemic effect: Sports ministry spending down 38 per cent in 2020-21

The ministry also said that this year (2021-22) the allocated Rs 1960.14 crore is 19.13 per cent more that what it received as budget estimate of Rs 1600 crore in 2019-20.

Published: 14th December 2021 10:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th December 2021 11:53 PM   |  A+A-

Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur

Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The sports ministry spent roughly 38 per cent less than their allocated budget in the last financial year (2020-21) due to the pandemic. This was revealed during a reply in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. 

The ministry said that Rs 2100.42 crore was allocated. It incidentally turned out to be the highest for the department of sports but due to pandemic, the revised estimate stood at Rs 1313.40 crore. Almost all centres except where elite athletes were training were shut during lockdown. Majority of national events could not be held and that impacted the spending.

The ministry also said that this year (2021-22) the allocated Rs 1960.14 crore is 19.13 per cent more that what it received as budget estimate of Rs 1600 crore in 2019-20. The revised estimate for 2019-20 was Rs 2000 crore. For the 2021-22 cycle, the figure will be available later.

A significant drop was noticed in the assistance to National Sports Federations due to lack of events and training during pandemic. In 2019-20, Rs 300.85 crore was the revised budget for NSF assistance, while in 2020-21, the ministry spent Rs 132 crore from its budget allocation of Rs 245 crore.

According to the document furnished by the ministry, its flagship scheme Khelo India had taken the biggest cut. The Khelo India Games could not be held because of the pandemic and its revised estimate stood at just Rs 328.77 crore after receiving the maximum budget of Rs 890.42 crore.

17 sexual harassment cases

There have been 16 cases of sexual harassment inside the Sports Authority of India premises in the last three years. However, figures show that the number of cases have declined since 2018 when 7 cases were recorded. According to the ministry, the SAI has recorded 17 cases of sexual harassment from 2018 to 2021. 

In reply to a question in Lok Sabha, the ministry revealed that "SAI has informed that 17 sexual harassment complaints have been received during the last three years". The ministry said that "these cases have been reported from centres of SAI located in Thiruvananthapuram, Benguluru, Kolkata, Gandhi Nagar, Lucknow and NCT of Delhi". In 2018 there were seven cases, while in 2019 the figure came down to six. Interestingly, during 2020, when most of the centres were shut due to Covid, the case was just one and it rose to three in 2021.

The ministry informed that the complaints were dealt with as per "Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act), 2012". To prevent such incidents the SAI has put in place all possible arrangements and put in place "a mechanism for redressal of complaints have been put in place in all the training centres of SAI".

According to the reply, 16 complaints were received "involving employees of SAI and where the occurrence has taken place within the SAI complex". All these cases have been disposed of as per established procedure. One case, however, was outside the SAI premises and involved a coach and criminal proceedings are under way.


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