Interim Budget 2024-25: R Praggnanandhaa, Indian Chess GMs Find Special Mentions In FM Sitharaman's Speech

Interim Budget 2024-25: R Praggnanandhaa, Indian Chess GMs Find Special Mentions In FM Sitharaman's Speech

Although the FM did not announce how much money the government will allocate in the sports sector in this financial year, Nirmala Sitharaman did however, highlight the major achievements of Indian athletes in 2023.

Aakash SinghUpdated: Thursday, February 01, 2024, 02:25 PM IST
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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday delivered her shortest-ever budget speech in the Parliament but still found some time to mention the laurels and accolades that Indian athletes brought to the nation in the field of sports.

Although the FM did not announce how much money the government will allocate in the sports sector in this financial year, Sitharaman did however, highlight the major achievements of Indian athletes thanks to the record funds the Centre released in the last budget.

FM Praises Praggnanandhaa Among Indian Chess GMs

She made special mention of Grand Master R Praggnanandhaa, who became India's No.1 chess player a couple of weeks ago after beating world champion Ding Liren at the TATA Steel Masters 2024.

"The country is proud of our youth scaling new heights in sports. The highest-ever medal tally in Asian Games and Asian Para games in 2023 reflects a high confidence level.

"Chess prodigy and our no.1 ranked player Praggnanandhaa up a stiff fight against the reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen in 2023. Today, India has over 80 Chess Grandmasters compared to a little over 20 in 2010," Sitharaman said.

Highlights of Sports Budget 2023-24

Historical Increase in Allocation

The Union Cabinet had approved the highest-ever budget allocation for the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports last year, amounting to ₹3,397.32 crore for the fiscal year 2023-24.

This marks a substantial 11% increase from the previous fiscal year's allocation of ₹3,062 crore. Notably, India had allocated just ₹466 crore for sports back in 2004-05, making it the highest budget since the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Department-wise Breakdown

In the fiscal year 2023-24, the Department of Sports received ₹2,462.59 crore, showcasing a notable increase from the ₹2,254 crore allocated in the previous year.

Simultaneously, the Department of Youth Affairs received a substantial share of ₹934.73 crore, up from ₹808.60 crore in the preceding year.

Key Allocations

Khelo India: The budget included a specific allocation of ₹1,045 crore for Khelo India, indicating a substantial increase of ₹439 crore. This allocation constitutes nearly one-third of the total budget.

Sports Authority of India (SAI): A significant sum of ₹785.52 crore was allocated to the Sports Authority of India (SAI).

National Sports Federations: Both National Sports Federations and the National Service Scheme received allocations of ₹325 crore each, marking a ₹45 crore increment for the former from the previous fiscal.

National Sports Development Fund: A budgetary allocation of ₹15 crore was designated for the National Sports Development Fund.

National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) and National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL): NADA received a budget of ₹21.73 crore, while NDTL was allocated ₹19.50 crore.

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