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Union Budget 2023: Sports sector gets record allocation ahead of Asian Games

Rahul Saha Rahul Saha

The Ministry of Youth & Sports has received its highest-ever budget allocation in history in the Union Budget 2023-24. With a jump of over ?334.72 crore from 2022-23, the sports sector has received ?3,397.32 crore in allocation in the new FY 2023-24 Union Budget.

The Union Finance Minister presented the budget for 2023-24 at the parliament today. With the 2023 Asian Games coming up and the Paris Olympics preparations in full-swing, the Finance Ministry has recognised the importance of increasing the budget.

With two major global events around the corner, important sectors like Khelo India were expected to see a significant jump in this year’s union budget. The Khelo India scheme saw a jump of ?71 crore to ?1,045 crore from last FY’s ?974 crore. 

Ahead of the 2023 Asian Games, the government is likely to increase funding for incentives to sportspersons. This category received a bump from ?245 crore to ?357 crore from FY 2021-22 to FY 2022-23. 

Similarly, the Sports Authority of India (SAI), which had suffered a minimal cut of ?7.14 crore to ?653 crore last FY, saw an increase of ?132.52 crore to ?785.52 crore, with both the 2023 Asian Games and the Olympics qualifiers taking place during FY 2023-24. 

In 2022-23, NSFs received a total of ?280 crore budget, the same as 2021-22. However, with a bump of ?45 crore to ?325 crore for FY 2023-24, the biggest beneficiary of the supposedly increased NSF funds could be the All India Football Federation (AIFF). 

With the AIFF presenting Vision 2047, it expects a significant bump in funds after the Government of India (GoI) momentarily ceased funding due to its constitution and alleged corruption charges. 

Moreover, there is high expectation for the esports sector. With the government formally recognising esports as a potential growth sector, it is likely to get its own budget allocation.

One area of concern for sportspersons is the high GST rate on certain sports equipment. While athletes have demanded GST to be minimum on such equipment, it is to be seen whether the GoI pays any heed.

Since India’s regular Olympics debut in 1920, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was the country’s most successful event to date. A bigger budget this financial year under the right guidance should only see the country’s sports economy and ecosystem blossom at its extraordinary pace. 

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Rahul Saha

Rahul Saha

An engineer taking the road less taken. I love writing, live and breathe football, and am always up for a tactical conversation.

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