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Sports Budget: Fund allocation for 2023-24 raised by 11 per cent
New Delhi: The central government has specifically brought sports and youth affairs into the centre stage and gave a fillip to the overall ecosystem in the country through 360-degree support by allocating Rs 3397.32 crore to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for the forthcoming financial year 2023-24.
The Budget allocation for the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has been increased by 11 per cent in comparison to FY 2022-23. This is the highest-ever budget allocation for the Ministry since 2010 when Commonwealth Games were held in India. The Budget allocation is more than three times the budget of 2011-12 and almost two times the budget of 2014-15. The Budget allocation for the Department of Sports is INR 2462.59 crore against the last year's allocation of INR 2254 crore and for the Department of Youth Affairs is INR 934.73 crore against the last year's allocation of INR 808.60 crore.
Major schemes/organisations of the Ministry having substantial increases in budget outlay this year are Khelo India (INR 1000 crore), Sports Authority of India (INR 785.52 crore), Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan(INR 401.49 crore), National Sports Federations (INR 325 crore) and National Service Scheme(INR 325 crore).
Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Anurag Thakur applauded the Union Budget 2023-24 and expressed his gratitude to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for giving priority to the sports and youth sector Anurag Thakur said, "Recognising the need to completely revamp the existing sports ecosystem in the country, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, since the very beginning, has given unprecedented attention to grassroots-level talent identification, infrastructure building, support to elite athletes and creating an overall sports culture that would provide equal opportunities to women, the divyang and the youth from far-flung areas. The result of this has been the introduction of unique schemes and programmes, like the Khelo India Scheme, Fit India Movement, Target Olympic Podium, Mission Olympic Cell and so on. These programmes have proved to be very successful and are widely acclaimed across the country. With the Prime Minister injecting a renewed vigour into sports, a large number of historic firsts have also been recorded in India's sporting history since 2014".
One of the special initiatives of the Department of Youth Affairs in the coming year will be building a Yuva Leadership Portal to reach out to youth and engage them in various activities so as to improve their leadership skills and inculcate a greater sense of responsibility towards society. The portal is being designed as a registry for young people who wish to enrol for any activity that improves the quality of life of the community and also increases their income-earning capacity. It would help to connect the youth of the country with various urban and rural local bodies, small businesses, farmer-producer groups and cooperative societies with a special focus on digital literacy and financial literacy. Such an engagement would provide experiential learning to the youth, improve their leadership skills and at the same time, improve the productivity of local communities. It is in harmony with the vision of India as a prosperous and caring nation. The project is expected to be completed and the portal launched in less than a year.
The Capex provisions in the Budget of the Ministry are for INR 935.68 crore (27% of the budget) which includes the Grants for the creation of Capital Assets. (ANI)