Budget 2018: The sports ministry today received a hike of Rs 258.2 crore in the Union Budget 2018, presented by finance minister Arun Jaitley in the Parliament here. Jaitley allocated a total of Rs 2196.36 crore for the sports ministry, compared to 1938.16 crore earmarked last year. However, one distinct feature of this year’s sports budget is the reduced funding allocated to the Sports Authority of India (SAI). SAI had received Rs 495.73 crore in the 2017-18 financial year 2017-18, but this year the allocation has been reduced to Rs 429.56 crore, a cut of Rs 66.17 crore. The category which received the maximum financial assistance is the government’s pet project ‘Khelo India’, which has received Rs 520.09 crore from the Rs 350 crore that it got last year.
In fact ‘Khelo India’ constitutes 23.67 percent of the total sports budget 2018. The Khelo India is one of the subsidiary part of the composite Khelo India — National Programme for Development of Sports — under which a total of Rs 1262.79 crore has been earmarked, a sharp increase from Rs 1047.19 provided last year. The budgetary assistance for the enhancement of sports facility in Jammu and Kashmir has been reduced to Rs 50 crore from previous financial year’s Rs 75 crore.
While there is no specific mention of budgetary assistance for athletes, who are preparing for the upcoming Commonwealth and Asian Games, the finance minister announced an increase of nearly Rs 40 crore for the various National Sports Federations (NSFs). In the previous year (2017-18), NSFs received a total of Rs 302.18 crore. This year, it has been increased to Rs 342 crore — an increase in 41.82 crore.
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The National Sports Development Fund’s (NSDF) allocation remained static at Rs 2 crore while contribution to World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) remains at Rs 1 crore. The allocation for incentives to sportspersons has been increased from Rs 18.13 crore (2017-18)to Rs 23 crore for the year 2018-19.
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The scheme of Human Resource Development in Sports saw a cut by 50 percent from Rs 10 crore to Rs 5 crore.