Sports budget hiked by Rs 350 cr

 The Sports Ministry got a substantial hike of Rs 350 crore in the union budget for 2017-18.

Jaitley allocated a total of Rs 1943 crore for sports, compared to Rs 1592 crore earmarked last year.

The steep increase in the budgetary allocation comes at a time when the Indian athletes are preparing for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games in 2018.

The hike also comes in the wake of India’s dismal showing at the Rio Olympics where it won just two medals - a silver and bronze.

The Sports Authority of India, entrusted with the task of organising national camps, has been granted a total of Rs 481 crore, compared to Rs 416 crore it received last year.

What is striking is that the allocation for sports promotion among disabled has been reduced to just Rs one lakh, a heavy reduction from Rs 4 crore allocated last year. The assistance to national sports federations has been increased to Rs 302 crore from Rs 185 crore.

The contribution to the National Sports Development fund has been reduced to Rs 2 crore from Rs 5 crore.

In another notable statistic, just Rs 50 lakh has been allocated for identifying and nurturing sports talent in the country. The total allocation for Khelo India, however, has been increased to Rs 350 crore from Rs 140 crore.

The Ministry later issued a press release saying that budget for sports has been enhanced by 40% since last year. This is because of the initiative and interest of the PM that he is taking in sports, the ministry said.

The Ministry said that contributions have been asked from the Public Sector Undertakings for the National Sports Development Fund so as to enhance the sports activities and promotion of players.

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