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Budgetary allocation for sports increased by over Rs 200 crore; SAI, NSDF, Khelo India benefitted while assistance to NSFs slashed

The Government of India, in its interim budget, before the Lok Sabha polls in mid-2019, has increased the sports budget by Rs 214.20 crore for the financial year 2019-2020. The overall sports budget was increased from Rs 2002.72 in 2018-2019 crore to Rs 2216.92 crore.

In the interim budget presented by Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, the allocation to SAI has been increased from Rs 395 crore to Rs 450 crore, a rise of Rs 55 crore. The National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) is the other significant gainer, whose allocation has increased from Rs 2 crore to Rs 70 crore.

 The Finance Minister also proposed an increase in the incentive fund for the sportspersons, from Rs 63 crore to Rs 89 crore. The overall encouragement and awards to sportspersons have been increased from the previous allocation of Rs 316.93 crore to Rs 411 crore.

The Khelo India National Programme for Development of Sports too got a hike of Rs 50.31 crore. The previous allocation was Rs 550.69 crore while for the financial year 2019-2020 it will be Rs 601 crore.

Only the assistance to National Sports Federations (NSFs) has been slashed slightly from Rs 245.13 crore to Rs 245 crore.

In response to the Interm Budget, Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore twitted, “Thankful to Arunjaitley ji & PiyushGoyal ji for increasing the allocation to IndiaSports by 214 Cr, including 55 Cr for Media_SAI & 50 Cr for kheloindia. This will give a great impetus to our aim of creating of a robust sports culture in India.”

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