The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has got a substantial hike in the annual budget presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday. But when it comes to sports, there was very little to cheer about, like always.
Out of the total outlay, Rs 886.57 crore has been allocated for Sports and Games — as against Rs 642.68 crore last year. Rs 336.62 crore has been set aside for Youth Welfare Schemes as compared to Rs 255.51 crore last year. A ministry official said the allocation is much less than what they had requested. It is learnt that the ministry had asked for a total budget of approximately Rs 1,200 crore. No new schemes or sports infrastructure projects were announced.
Not much hike
Sports Authority of India (sai) will get an amount of Rs 369.39 crore — a hike of Rs 17.34 crore from last year. Most of their budget is spent on the various schemes they run as well as the maintenance of the stadiums under their control. However, assistance to National Sports Federations has been kept same as last year at Rs 185 crore. In an Olympic qualifying year, the federations may cry foul. They had already complained of insufficient budget last year. Expect more protests from them in coming days.
With the number of doping cases on the rise, the National Anti-Doping Agency would have hoped for an increase in budget to conduct more tests. Rs 12 crore has been allocated for anti-doping activities as compared to Rs 11.60 crore last year. Out of this, National Dope Test Laboratory will get Rs 8.9 crore, a little less than the 9 crore they received last year. Rs 5 crore has been earmarked for Talent Search and Training Scheme.