Sports budget: Khelo India takes a hit, SAI and NSFs gain

The Sports Authority of India and the National Sports Federations gained in varying degrees even as the Union budget reduced the allocation for sports by Rs. 230.78 crores for the financial year 2021-22.

The government's flagship Khelo India programme was handed the biggest reduction -- of Rs 232.71 crore -- among all sports heads for the 2021-22 budget, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday.   -  TWITTER

Notwithstanding the impact of COVID-19 in the past year, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the National Sports Federations (NSFs) gained in varying degrees even as the Union budget reduced the allocation for sports by Rs. 230.78 crores for the financial year 2021-22.

In the budget presented in Parliament on Monday, Sports Ministry’s ambitious scheme “Khelo India” took a massive hit of Rs. 232.71 crore. From Rs. 890.42 crore, its allocation has been slashed to Rs. 657.71 crore.

In the next financial year, the fund allocated is a modest Rs. 2,596.14 crore, down by 8.16 per cent compared to the last budget.

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On the brighter side, SAI’s allocation stood at Rs. 660.41 crore up from Rs. 500 crore. Similarly, the assistance of NSFs also saw a small spike of Rs. 35 crore - raised from Rs. 245 crore to Rs. 280 crore.

There has been a slight increase in the allocation of incentives for sportspersons. The fund now stands at Rs. 70 crore, up by Rs. 17 crore from last year. Likewise, the contribution to The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will now be Rs. 2.5 crore, up by Rs. 50 lakh.

The downside is, the fund allocated for renovation and maintenance of the infrastructure built for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, is cut by over 50 percent and now stands at Rs. 30 crore.

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Similarly, the budget for the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) is down to Rs. 25 crore from Rs. 50 crore.

In addition, there has been no change in the allocation of Rs. 50 crore for the development of sports facilities in Jammu and Kashmir besides Rs. 55 crore set aside for Laxmi Bai National Institute of Physical Education.