The Central Government presented the General Budget for the year 2022-23 on Tuesday. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman gave a detailed speech of around 1 hour and 30 minutes explaining what's new in this year's budget. While her speech did not contain any information about the sports sector, details that emerged later have confirmed that Sports has been allotted an increment of INR 300 crores in a year which will see the Indian athletes competing not only in the Commonwealth Games but also the Asian Games.
Although the Sports budget for the year 2021-22 was a total of 2757.02 crores, the year 2022-23 sees the sports sector bag an increased sum of 3062.60 crores. The facts imply that there has been a total increase of 305.58 crores in the sports budget.
In addition, the government has decided to increase the budget for the national youth empowerment program. In the last fiscal year, the budget allocated to this scheme was INR 108 crores. In contrast, this they have been a pool of 138 crores. Even the government's flagship Khelo India Youth Games has been given an increase in the budget. The last year saw the event get a sanction of 879 crores from the Union Government and comparing it with this year, the number has increased to 974 crores.
For the unversed, the Sports Budget involves the sum of money which is spent on training and preparation of Olympic athletes as well as the budget of bodies like the Sports Authority of India, Athletics Authority of India among others.
Last year, which was the Olympics year, the Sports budget was reduced as the economy was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, a revival in the economy coupled with the country's best-ever performance in the Olympic as well as the Paralympic games despite several hurdles has almost forced the decision-makers to take notice and allow a more generous sanction.
In addition, several private parties have also played a part in the success of athletes like Neeraj Chopra who, for instance, is managed by the JSW Sports. Indian fans would hope that the public and private partnership reaps rewards for India and helps the nation take a huge step towards the dream of becoming a sporting powerhouse.