Kolkata: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday presented the Union Budget 2017-2018 in the Lok Sabha. This is the fourth budget presented by the Narendra Modi led government. This year, the government merged the Railways Budget with the General Budget. Our Finance Minister has assured us of the fact that each and every sector of the Indian economy will be benefited from the Budget this year. So, did the Sports sector benefit from this year’s budget? Let’s do an in-depth analysis and judge it.
We all have seen that the previous year’s budget proved to be beneficial for the Sports ministry. The Government allocated an amount of Rs. 1592 crore, which was a milestone figure in itself. However, this year the government further increased the amount to Rs. 1943 crore. So, we can see that there has been a substantial hike of roughly Rs.350 crore for the sports ministry funding this year, which is great news.
This hike in the budget of the sports ministry can improve the following areas:
- Infrastructural Developments of the stadiums and grounds.
- Insurance to the players.
- Increase in the funds allotted to the sports associations.
This hike comes at a time when India is preparing for the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games in 2018. We can also say that this hike is a direct response to the debacle of India at the Rio Olympics, where the nation only managed to win a Silver and a Bronze holding the hands of PV Sindhu (Badminton) and Sakshi Malik (wrestling) respectively.
Sports and youth are synonymous. The National Service Scheme, popularly known as NSS has been granted Rs. 144 crore in place of the previously allotted Rs.137.50 crores, which sees a hike of Rs. 6.5 crore in its funding. The primary aim of the NSS has been to develop the personalities of students through community service.
The National Sports Federation (NSF), the prerogative of which is to popularise sports among youngsters, students and the youth has been benefited highly. The assistance has been increased to Rs. 302 crore from the previously granted Rs.185 crores which means a huge leap of Rs. 117 crore.
The Indian Blind Cricket team has started the World T20 series with a bang. The team has been playing exceptionally well in recent times and has set a new benchmark. During this time, what comes as a surprise is that the government has hugely reduced the amount allocated for the promotion of sports among the disabled. While last year, the amount allotted was Rs. 4 crore, this year it has been brought down to Rs.1 crore, which means a downfall of Rs. 3 crore. This is indeed an unexpected move by the Finance Minister as it may not go down well with the sports professionals who recently voiced out their opinions to support disabled sports and also requested the government to work towards their betterment.
Also, the contribution to the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) has been reduced from Rs.5 crore to Rs. 2 crore. The organisation which aims to create, maintain and preserve sports culture in India and destroy the obstacles that affect sports won’t be too pleased with the Modi Sarkar.
So, here are some facts for the readers to judge whether or not the budget has been effective for the Sports Sector. But we can say that it has been a mixed bag of some goods and some not so goods. However, only time shall tell how the Modi Government implements the new measures.
(With inputs from The Financial Express)