Covid impact: Sports budget takes Rs 230.78 crore cut | More sports News


2021-02-02 03:43:27

NEW DELHI: It’s an Olympic year and the country’s sports administrators would have hoped for an increased monetary allocation in the Union budget for the financial year 2021-22.
However, the national sports budget suffered a steep cut of Rs 230.78 crore from what the government had originally allocated in the previous financial year 2020-2021. On Monday, the budget was presented in the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic and the sports’ budgetary allocation was pegged at Rs 2596.14 crore. In the last financial year, the figure was 2826.92 crore, which was later revised mid-term to Rs 1800.15 crore after all forms of sports activities came to a complete halt due to the pandemic.
There would be some defending the budgetary grant, saying the allocation should be looked at from the prism of revised estimates for the year 2020-21 when the sports budget was reduced by Rs 1026.77 crore from the original Rs 2826.92 crore to Rs 1800.15 crore. Officials in the sports ministry argued that this year’s allocated amount is Rs 795.99 crore more than the revised budget (1800.15 crore) of 2020-21.
The revision was largely because of Covid-19 disrupting every big and small sports activity. However, to counter the official claim, a closer look at the allocation for the financial year 2019-2020 when there’s no Covid-19 and everything was business as usual, the current overall fiscal grant is still short of Rs 39.92 crore. In 2019-20, the budgetary allocation to sports was Rs 2636.06 crore and the latest disbursement is of Rs 2596.14 crore, which results in a shortfall of Rs 39.92 crore.
The government’s flagship Khelo India programme has been handed the biggest reduction of Rs 232.71 crore among all sports heads for the 2021-22 budget. The financial allocation towards the Khelo India programme, which got Rs 890.42 crore in the last budget, was reduced to Rs 657.71 core. Midway last year, it was further slashed to Rs 328.77 crore (from Rs 890.42 crore) in the revised estimate for 2020-21. However, from the 2019-20 allocation of Rs 575.52 crore, there’s a marginal increase of Rs 82.19 crore.
On a brighter side, the Sports Authority of India (SAI), whose allocation was reduced to Rs 500 crore in the last budget, has received a substantial hike of Rs 160.41 crore taking the total to Rs 660.41 crore.



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