Interim Union Budget 2024-25: Sports Ministry Receives Rs 45 Crore Boost

The ministry's flagship programme, Khelo India, was allotted Rs 900 crore, an increase of Rs 20 crore from the previous budget

File Photo
Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra in action. File Photo

The spotlight was on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday when she announced the interim Union Budget for the next one year. Sports Ministry has been allocated Rs 3,442.32 crore, a hike of Rs 45.36 crore as compared to last year's budget. (More Sports News)

In the last year, the Sports Ministry witnessed a historic allocation of ₹3,397.32 crore to this sector, including a substantial boost to Khelo India with ₹1,045 crore.

The Olympic Games in Paris, to be held from July 26 to August 11, will be the country's main focus during the 2024-25 financial year. With India looking to bid for the 2036 Olympic Games, it was hoped that high investments would be made in the sports sector. But with only a hike of 45 crore in the annual budget for sports, India also showed that they are not very serious about hosting the Olympics soon.

The ministry's flagship programme, Khelo India, was allotted Rs 900 crore, an increase of Rs 20 crore from the previous budget.

FM Sitharaman highlighted various achievements India claimed in the last year and also praised teenage chess prodigy R Praggnanandhha for his recent performances and accolades. “The country is proud of our youth scaling new heights in sports. The highest-ever medal tally in Asian Games and Asian Para Games in 2023 reflects a high confidence level. Chess prodigy and our no.1 ranked player Praggnanandhaa up a stiff fight against the reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen in 2023. Today, India has over 80 Chess Grandmasters compared to a little over 20 in 2010,” Sitharaman said.

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) which organises national sports camps, provides necessary infrastructure and equipment to athletes and appoints coaches, saw an increase of Rs 26.83 crore from the previous year's revised expenditure of Rs 795.77 crore.

The National Sports Federations (NSFs) will receive an additional Rs 15 crore this time, compared to the previous revised budget of Rs 325 crore for 2023-24.

The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has also received a raise with the government allocating Rs 22.30 crore in the interim budget, compared to Rs 21.73 crore in 2023-24.

The National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL), which conducts dope sample testing, will receive Rs 22 crore, which is Rs 2.5 crore more than the previous budget.

The budget for the National Centre of Sports Science and Research has been reduced from Rs 10 crore to Rs 8 crore. On the other hand, the National Sports University will receive an increased allocation of Rs 91.90 crore from Rs 83.21 crore of the 2023-24 budget.

Unfortunately, the allocation for giving incentives to sportspersons has seen a significant reduction, from Rs 84 crore to Rs 39 crore. Similarly, the allocation for the National Sports Development Fund has also been reduced to Rs 18 crore from Rs 46 crore. The Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay National Welfare for Sportspersons scheme has been granted Rs 2 crore.

Furthermore, the allocation for 'Enhancement of Sports Facility in Jammu and Kashmir' has also been brought down to Rs 8 crore from the previous budget allocation of Rs 20 crore.

Finally, the allocation for the Commonwealth Games has been reduced from Rs 15 crore in the previous budget to just Rs 0.01 crore this time.