Progressive step: Stakeholders react on highest-ever budget for Sports Sector
The Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her flagship Budget 2023 proposal on Wednesday, February 1, allocated the highest-ever allocation of Rs. 3397.32 crore – a gigantic increase of over Rs. 300 crores over the previous financial year. This is set to give major boost to Indian sports, ahead of highly-anticipated Asia Games and 2024 Paris Olympics.
The Sports Authority of India (SA) received a funding of Rs. 785.52 crore in this year’s sports budget, an increase of Rs. 132.52 crore from the previous year. Meanwhile, Khelo India received a record budget of Rs. 1,045.00 crore this year.
Rishikesh Joshi, Founder of Sports for All (SFA) has lauded the Government of India for stressing on the importance of sports.
“For India to be a global sports super power we constantly need to focus on grassroots sports and a large part of this budget has consistently been allocated towards the same. The over 200% jump in the Khelo India Budgets from 2017 shows the importance of investing in youth sport!” Mr. Joshi said.
He further claimed that the quality of science, nutrition and professionals that our young athletes need will get a huge boost.
“Also, more athletes will be able to get the support they need and thereby our participation in global events such as the Asian Games will get strengthened. India will also be able to attract and host more global sports events which will further strengthen our sporting ecosystem.” Added Mr. Joshi.
Mr. Tenzing Niyogi, CEO & League Commissioner, Ultimate Kho Kho believes this is a progressive step in aiding India’s preparations for this year’s Asian Games and Paris Olympics which can result in an increased presence in multi-nation prestigious events and an opportunity funnel for widespread sports to come into the limelight.
“The budget will enable financial assistance to the state governments to develop sports infrastructure and facilities and to encourage sports participation at the grassroots level. The growth of Indigenous Sports will fuel the sports league talent supply chain which eventually will bring India closer to becoming a Multi-Sport Playing Nation. The increasing commercialization of sports in India is also helping to create a vibrant sports culture,” said Mr. Niyogi.