Budget 2023| Rise in sports budget, boost for all

The difference in the estimate and revised could be because of allocations under the head of Khelo India — India National Programme for Development of Sports.

Published: 02nd February 2023 11:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd February 2023 11:13 AM   |  A+A-

Folder-case containing Union Budget 2023-24.(Photo | PTI)

Folder-case containing Union Budget 2023-24.(Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  The sports budget looks healthier than last edition. Perhaps, all stakeholders, including the National Sports Federations (NSFs), will be satisfied. The budget has increased from Rs 3062.60 crore in 2022-23 to Rs 3397.62 crore (including capital Rs 7.76 crore) in 2023-24. Though it is a marginal increase of around 10 per cent but if compared with the revised budget of Rs 2673.25 crore in 2022-23, it’s about Rs 724 crore.

The difference in the estimate and revised could be because of allocations under the head of Khelo India — India National Programme for Development of Sports. In 2022-23, the allocation was Rs 974 crore, while the revised estimate is only Rs 600 crore. It needs to be seen whether it is due to the postponement of Khelo India Youth, University Games and Winter Games in 2021. However, the actual figures might change after the financial year. 

Khelo India gets max 
Like the previous years, Khelo India seems to be the flagship programme. What seems interesting is that the Khelo India Youth Games are being held twice in this financial year once it was held during June in Haryana last year (it was supposed to be held in 2021) while it is being held in Madhya Pradesh now, days before the commencement of the board exams for Class X and XII students.

Whether it is to justify the budgetary allocations or extraordinary interest of the sports ministry and the Sports Authority of India, we don’t know. Yet, despite revised budget of Rs 600 crore against Rs 974 crore in 2022-23, this time the allocation has been increased to Rs 1000 crore. Khelo India has 12 verticals for sports development and promotion in grassroots. The SAI, too, is scouting talent from these Games are including athletes in junior national camps conducted at the National Centres of Excellence. They also support various training centres across to country where junior athletes train.

Increase in NSFs funds
Under assistance to NSFs head, a sum of Rs 325 crore has been allocated. There is an increase as against Rs 112.07 crore in 2021-22 and Rs 280 crore in 2022-23. The NSFs funds are allocated “to recognized National Sports Federations for sending their teams abroad for training and participation in internationals tournaments, for holding international tournaments in India, for conducting National Championships and for procuring sports equipments. Financial assistance is also extended through SAI for organising coaching camps, for preparing national teams and for engaging the services of foreign coaches.” 

The ministry funds athletes’ training through Annual Calendar for Training and Competition chalked out by the NSFs in consultation with SAI. It is understood that the government is keen to host more international competitions in India and there are quite a few lined up as well. Since ministry gives grants to host international competitions to the NSFs, it needs funds as well. Since the Asian Games and the 2024 Olympic qualifying cycle begins this year, there will be more thrust on international exposure and training. 

SAI gets more 
The funding to SAI too has increased from next year. This time the budgetary allocation has been Rs 785.52 crore against revised estimate of Rs 749 crore in 2022-23. In 2021-22 the actual budget was Rs 579.43 crore. National Anti-Doping Agency and the National Dope Testing Laboratory too have got quota of funds. NDTL is getting Rs 19.50 cr and NADA will get Rs 21.73 cr. India’s contribution towards WADA has gone up to Rs 4cr. 


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