In the past few years, the fund allocation for the
Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has been around the
range of Rs 2,500-2,800 crore, 0.5-.10% of the total budget.
In 2020, budget allocated was around Rs 2,800 crore as the
Tokyo Olympics was scheduled for that year. But, after the pandemic started and
sporting events around the world were postponed, at budget amount was revised
to Rs 1,800 crore.
Under the current regime, the budget allocation range has
been the same irrespective of any major events like the Commonwealth Games or
the Olympics. This year, with upcoming events like the Winter Olympics, Asian
Games, Commonwealth Games, Women’s FIH Hockey World Cup, and more, we can
expect the budget allocation in the same range.
In the last three years, the Khelo India scheme has seen
a gradual increase in its budget allocation, except for the pandemic year.
Khelo India was allocated a whopping amount of Rs 890 crores in 2020 before the
amount was revised. It’s too early to call this scheme a success but it was a
big step and was a huge boost for the young players. Athletes such as Saurabh
Chaudhary, Anshu Malik, Srihari Nataraj, Lakshya Sen, Ankita Dhyani have
benefitted from Khelo India. Higher budget allocation for this scheme can be
expected in the upcoming budget.
The Sports Authority Of India
From all the Ministry of Youth affairs dedicated bodies,
the Sports Authority of India gets the most amount allocated among these.
Even in 2020, where most schemes and programs faced
massive cuts, funds to SAI were increased by over Rs 100 crores. Higher budget
allocations can be expected this year as the government will look to improve
the infrastructure, conduct more competitions and camps with an eye on the
upcoming events and the 2024 Summer Olympics.
Target Olympic Podium Scheme
This scheme was introduced to assist the medal prospects
and provide world-class training facilities to elite athletes. The scheme still
needs a more proactive approach.
It is an exciting time for sports in India and we have to
look at what the budget brings for the sector.