Kiren Rijiju : Provision to revise budget allocation for sports

The amount assigned for sports for the financial year 2021-22 could be revised if it is needed, said Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday. He asserted that all necessary requirements for the athletes moving for Tokyo Olympics are fulfilled.

An allocation of Rs 2596.14 crore for sports was made by the central government on Monday. The amount allocated has a reduction of Rs 230.78 crore, when compared to the amount earmarked initially for the previous year, which was derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic across the world.

Rijiju said, “….if needed, there is a provision for asking for revised allocation,” along the launch of Fit India office at the Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium here.

This year’s allocated amount is Rs 795.99 crore more than the revised budget of 2020-21.

Rijiju said, “The sports ministry is there to take care and support athletes and National Sports Federations (NSFs). We are there to look after the requirement of athletes and demand of NSFs.

“The funding is for athletes, not NSFs. There will be no shortage of funds for players as and when they require.

“Whatever is the requirement of athletes is always met, be it foreign training or hiring of overseas coaches. Sports are a state subject and the sports ministry is there to provide support to state governments.”

The government’s flagship Khelo India programme received a reduction of Rs 232.71 crore.

During Wednesday’s event, Sports Secretary Ravi Mittal said, “If you look at the budget of 2021-22 as against 2019-2020 there is an increase of 19.13 percent. We are not considering the initial budget of 2020-21 because it was an unprecedented year hit by COVID.”

“From the revised figures also there is an increase of nearly 40 percent. Khelo India also got a boost of 72 per cent compared to 2019-2020.

“The contributions towards NSFs has also increased, just in infrastructure development there was slight reduction,” Mittal added.