Union Budget 2024: Significant Allocation Of INR 3442 Cr Sparks Optimism For India's Sporting Sector Stakeholders anticipate that augmented budget allocations will play a pivotal role in India's success on the international stage, facilitating grassroots development.
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In a significant step toward making India a dedicated sporting nation, the Union Budget 2024 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman allocated the highest-ever funds of INR 3442 crores for the country's sports sector.
Marking a substantial increase from the previous year's allocation of INR 3396 crores, this development comes as a welcome move ahead of the Paris Olympics.
Punit Balan, Chairman and Managing Director of the Punit Balan Group, shared his thoughts on the budget allocation stating, "The government's proactive stance towards sports through this increased allocation of funds will provide the impetus for Indian athletes to shine brightly in international competitions, contributing to the continued growth and success of the country's success on the global stage. With the Paris Olympics looming on the horizon, we are confident that our youth will make it the best-ever campaign for India."
Reflecting on the government's sustained commitment to the growth of sports in India, Tenzing Niyogi, CEO and League Commissioner of Ultimate Kho Kho highlighted, "Last year, we witnessed a Rs 300 crore increase in sports allocations, which contributed to India's success in the Asian and Para-Asian Games. The government's continued commitment is evident in the latest budget, with a total allocation of Rs 3442 crores, which reflects a significant increase from the previous year's budget. The increased allocations not only boost the morale of our athletes but also serve as a testament to the government's vision for developing and nurturing sporting talent. As India gears up for the upcoming Paris Olympics, this heightened financial support will pave the way for a promising era for sports in the country."
One of the key beneficiaries of this augmented budget is Khelo India, which has received a significant increase from INR 880 crores to INR 900 crores.
"The substantial allocation in this year's budget not just for the sports sector but also for Khelo India will play a pivotal role with regard to grassroots development. This support for our athletes across all sporting disciplines will facilitate more participation and lead to more medals at the Olympics and other international tournaments," commented Suhail Chandhok, CEO of U Mumba.
Concurring with him, Vikas Gautam, CEO, Yuva Kabaddi Series emphasized, "The commendable allocation in this year's budget marks a significant stride towards transforming India into a sporting powerhouse. By prioritizing grassroots infrastructure via increasing the Khelo India budget, we are not just investing in facilities but nurturing the latent talent that resides in every corner of our nation. This budget reflects a visionary approach, recognizing that the true potential of our athletes lies in the foundation we build for them today. It's a resounding commitment to creating a robust sports ecosystem and with our combined efforts I hope this will fuel the aspirations of our youth and propel India to new heights on the global stage."
Aditya Reddy, Co-Founder & CEO of Gamepoint believes that the impact of sports extends beyond the field, offering massive economic opportunities.
"PM Narendra Modi during the inauguration of the Khelo India Youth Games in Chennai stated that the government has resolved to make the country an important centre of the global sports ecosystem. He also highlighted that sports was not just limited to the field, but also presents a huge economic opportunity, he said the country's sports-related industry will be worth at least ₹1 lakh crore in a few years. Given the positive approach of the government towards sports, we hope that post the lok sabha elections, the new government will increase the budget allocation and announce new measures for the growth of Indian sports," noted Aditya Reddy.
Alongside the increased budget allocations, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman praised the achievements of the country's youth in sports and highlighted the confidence level reflected in India's highest-ever medal tally at last year's Asian and Para Asian Games during her speech.
In addition, she proudly stated that India now boasts over 80 Chess Grandmasters which is a significant increase from just over 20 in 2010 and sparked optimism among the country's sporting business stakeholders.