Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her maiden General Budget has said that the Centre will set up a National Sports Education Board under Khelo India.
The National Sports Education Board will work to popularise sports at all levels.
“To popularise sports at all levels, National Sports Education Board for development of sportspersons to be set up under Khelo India,” the Finance Minister said durin her budget speech in the Parliament.
Khelo India, envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was launched last year by the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs to promoting mass participation in sports.
The minister also said that the Government was committed to expanding the programme and committing the financial resources necessary to promote sports in the country.
Except for widening the scope of its flagship ‘Khelo India‘ program with the announcement of setting up of a National Sports Education Board (NSEB) in the first budget of its second term, the Union Government but did not change the interim allocations set aside for sports.
The allocations from the interim Budget presented by the then Finance Minister Piyush Goyal in February earlier this year were left untouched in the full budget presented by Nirmala Sitharaman here.
“Khelo India Scheme, launched in October 2017, has created awareness for sports as an integral part of wellness throughout the country,” she said in her budget speech.
“The government is committed to expand Khelo India scheme and provide all necessary financial support. To popularise sports at all levels, a National Sports Education Board for development of sportspersons will be set up under Khelo India Scheme.”
The Sports and Youth Affairs Ministry had got a substantial raise of Rs 214.2 crore in the interim budget presented in February. The allocation was raised from last year’s Rs 2002.72 to Rs 2216.92 crore.
The allocation to the Sports Authority of India was increased by Rs 55 crore to Rs 450 crore. The SAI is the nodal organisation to manage nationals camps, provide equipment and other logistics to the country’s sportspersons.
The Khelo India National Programme for Development of Sports had also got a hike of Rs 50.31 crore in the interim budget, going up from Rs 550.69 crore to Rs 601 crore. Besides, the allocation for NSDF has increased from Rs 2 crore to Rs 70 crore.
The incentive fund for the sportspersons was also raised from Rs 63 crore to Rs 89 crore.
However, the assistance to National Sports Federations (NSFs) was slashed slightly from Rs 245.13 crore to Rs 245 crore.
The overall allocation for encouragement and awards to sportspersons was increased by Rs 94.07 crore. The previous allocation stood at Rs 316.93 crore and will now be Rs 411 crore.
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju welcomed the new budget proposals for sports.
“On behalf of the entire sports fraternity of India I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to @narendramodiji & FM @nsitharamanji for the announcement in #Budget2019 to establish NATIONAL SPORTS EDUCATION BOARD for development of sportspersons under.