Budget 2021 | A look at sports budget over last 5 years

Budget 2021 | A look at sports budget over last 5 years

Numbers showed that an increase in the overall sports Budget corresponded to an increase in funds for Khelo India

Credit: iStock Photo

The Union Budget 2021 is right around the corner and the Budget "like never before" has experts and the "aam aadmi" scratching their heads over a number of issues.

The Budget may provide answers to how Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman would salvage India’s economy following a 7.7 per cent contraction, boost revenues and extend support to ailing sectors hit hard due to Covid-19 pandemic. 

Seldom spoken of is the budget allocation to sports, which is directed to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS). Here, we take a look at the budget allocation to the Sports Ministry over the past five years.

The budget allocation for the ministry has jumped manifold since 2016 and the Khelo India program seem to have benefitted the most. The government initiative, which until 2017 did not seem to draw much interest from the Centre, saw a whopping jump in its allocation between 2016 and 2020. The allocation for the country’s flagship sports program jumped to Rs 890.92 crore in 2020 Budget from Rs 97.52 crore in 2016.

Read | Budget 2020: Government allocates Rs 2826.92 crore to sports

Budget allocations for other authorities, such as the Sports Authority of India (SAI), and the (assistance to) National Sports Federations (NSFs) was up marginally, but not as exponential as Khelo India's. 

Over the past five years, SAI saw a marginal rise of over Rs 92 crore in its budget allocation. In 2020-21, SAI was allocated Rs 500 crore, compared to Rs 407.96 crore in 2015-16. 

Also Read | All you need to know about Union Budget 2021

Budget allocations for the NSFs have also seen a reduction over the five years. In 2017-18, the budget allocation for the NSFs was Rs 277.68 crore compared to Rs 359.40 crore in the previous year. 

In 2018-19, the budget allocation for NSFs was Rs 342.00 crore. In the Union Budget 2020, the allocation for the National Sports Federations remained the same compared to the previous year at Rs 245.00 crore.

Also Read | Reading FM Nirmala Sitharaman's mind before Union Budget 2021

With the Finance Ministry searching every pocket and every drawer for that extra coin or note that the coronavirus didn’t nick away, all sports authorities are eyeing this year's allocation as they look to revive sporting events.