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  • Writer's pictureSukrit Gupta

Sports Budget 2020: Deep Cuts In Olympic Year, Reallocation to Khelo India

Sports Budget 2020: Deep Cuts In Olympic Year, Reallocation to Khelo India[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”6204″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]

Sports infrastructure should be treated as an integral part of urban planning. Several empirical studies have established sports as a beneficial activity having a positive impact on the state of health, education and the economy. This year’s sports budget was a far-cry from the above mentioned picture. In the fiscal year 2020/21, the Government of India has allocated 2826.92cr to the ministry of Youth and Sports affairs.

The allocated budget is further distributed amongst four accounting heads.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”6198″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]

The National Sports Federation covers the cost of training and competitions nationally and internationally. It represents Olympic and non-Olympic sports with the exception of cricket. Assistance is extended to coaching camps and employing foreign coaches. The highest reduction was seen in NSF’s budget. It was reduced to 245cr from 300.85cr allocated last year.(Under photo data-The 2019-2020 budgets revised and NSF was revised to 300.85cr. Revisions to this year’s budget are still possible)

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Incentives for sports people, is the agency which grants scholarships and awards to athletes. It saw a slashed budget of 70cr from 111cr.

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The NSDF supports sportspersons to excel in the field by providing opportunities to train under coaches of international repute. Financial assistance is also provided to specific projects for promotion of sports and games sponsored by reputed Organizations/Institutes. The organization also takes up research and development studies to strengthen sports infrastructure. Its annual budget was reduced from 77.15cr to 50cr.

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Looks after the needs of outstanding former sportsperson living in indigent circumstances, continued to get the same amount of 2cr.


The budget saw an increase of a mere 50cr from last year. While all nodal organizations saw reduced allocations, BJP’S flagship scheme Khelo India received a substantial hike of 312.42 cr. The two questions surrounding this year’s sports budget are:

Should athletes be worried about budget reduction in the Olympic Year?

  1. The budget will first and foremost affect 15,000 athletes of whom 10,000 are getting residential training at SAI (Sports Authority of India). A reduced budget for SAI means that momentum created by recent international events (Common Wealth games, FIFA U-17 World Cup, Asian Age Group Championships) will suffer a major blow.

  2. No special provisions for the Olympics were accorded. The government normally increases the sports budget in an Olympic year. Officials however say that Olympic preparations will not be affected by reduction of funds since the annual calendar for tournaments and competitions for 2020 has been extended till September.

  3. BJP’S manifesto promised a national Women Sports Festival. No such initiative has been facilitated by the government, till date. (Caravan,2019)

  4. Even though sports development is one of the activities listed in companies Act 2013. No initiative was made to introduce sports quotas as part of private sector’s CSR funds.

  5. WADA suspended India’s National Dope testing laboratory in 2019. In the absence of a national doping agency, Indian federations have to send samples abroad. “With the budgetary allocation now being reduced overall, my worry is the number of dope tests would be even fewer,” says sports lawyer, Viduspath Singhania. Fewer doping tests will affect international participation of athletes. (Roy,2020-Telegraph)

  6. India made its debut in the 1968 Paralympics. Since then India has competed 11 times out of which it has secured 12 medals. Sadly the budget does not take into account differently abled athletes.

How will the BJP’s ‘Khelo India’ program help, when the government does not encourage states and union territories to fast-track sports infrastructure?

What is Khelo India? [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”6203″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” onclick=”zoom”][vc_column_text]In 2016, BJP Government combined three schemes – Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan, Urban Sports infrastructure scheme and national sports talent search system to form the ‘Khelo India’ program. It seeks to identify and finance talents from grassroots level.

Here’s our analysis of the Khelo India Program:[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”6202″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]

Comparison with other countries:

Achievements in sports are aided by competition therefore it is a healthy exercise to compare India’s sports budget with other countries. China’s budget in the year 2018 was 352.2 billion yuan and is increased by 6% annually. While in the U.K the government spends 2700cr every four years (Olympic preparations). While Canada (with a total population of 3.76cr) spent $31 million and USA spent $385.4 million respectively, these spending’s only make sense when compared to their output. In the last Olympics, India secured 2 medals while the US won 38 gold (88 medals in total). China won 29 gold and secured 71 in total. U.K won 18 gold and secured 56 medals in total.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]


“The development of sports is closely linked with various other sectors like tourism, real estate and health education, the sports sector as a whole impacts the global economy significantly” says the latest sports infrastructure report published by ASSOCHAM. Khelo India program, is a welcome move to initiate sport development at the grass root level. However, what is problematic is the gross under utilisation of funds under the scheme. Delays in fund release, appropriation of funds towards non-sport expenditures, and the even more worrying inequitable distribution of funds among states. Under such circumstances, the Khelo India initiative fails to make an actual mark and limits itself to becoming another massive PR exercise sanctioned by the central government (Kashyap, Bridge -2019). It’d be welcoming to see, if the centre learns from the follies of previous year and makes amends in its implementation for the program to serve its purpose. [/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]



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