Olympic preparations in full swing: Kiren Rijiju
No shortage of funds for players in Sports Ministry,
New Delhi [India], February 3: Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday said that there is no shortage of funds in the ministry and the preparations for the Tokyo Olympics are in full swing.
The Union budget of 2021-22 has allocated Rs 1960.14 crore to the Department of Sports, a hike of 19.13 percent (Rs 306.14 crore) as compared to the budget estimate in 2019-2020.
The increase in the budget comes with a major boost to the budget allocated to the Sports Authority of India, which is the nodal agency responsible for providing financial support to elite athletes preparing for the Tokyo Olympics scheduled in July 2021. A budgetary increase in the National Sports Federation will also assist further in supporting the Olympic preparation of Indian athletes.
Speaking about the budget, Rijiju, in a statement, said: “This is the Olympic year and Olympic preparation is the major thrust of the Government right now. The big boost in SAI and NSF budget will ensure that there is no shortage of funds and Olympic preparation is in full swing. We are preparing in the best way possible.”
SAI has been allocated Rs 660.41 crores, a 32.08 percent rise in the allocated budget as compared to the Budget Estimate of 2020-21. The substantial increase will lead to higher spending in the Annual Calendar for Training and Competition, which is used to fund the training of athletes. The NSFs have received an allocation of Rs 280 crore, with a hike of 14.28 percent over the budget estimate of 2020-21.
The budget for the government’s flagship Khelo India programme has also seen a 72.04 percent increase in the budget estimate as compared to the revised estimate for the year 2021-22. Last year, the Khelo India budget could not be used for infrastructure development or coaching camps owing to the coronavirus pandemic.