Enhance Union Sports Budget: Sukhbir
New Delhi, October 18, 2012: The Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today underlined the need to accord top priority to sports to take the nation’s Olympic medal tally from 6 to 60.
After inaugurating the 4th Global Sports Summit ‘Turf 2012’ organised by FICCI here at FICCI Auditorium, Badal said that time has come to do something different and taking more committed initiatives to take the country on the path of glory in sports in international arena. He said that we , the nation of 1.2 billion peoples, just have Rs.700 crore Union Sports Budget as compared to our expenditure of thousands of crores on organising international sports events like Common Wealth Games, and it was not projecting our seriousness towards promotion of sports, creation of sports infrastructure besides developing sports culture in our country.
Badal demanded minimum Rs.10,000 crore sports budget besides provision of special treatment to budding sports persons both at education and then employment level. Describing investment in sports infrastructure as the investment in building future, he said that it could save our youngsters from falling prey to drugs or other anti-social activities besides encouraging them to adopt healthy life style.
Adding, he said that we need to identify our weaknesses and areas of concern in sports promotion and then to chalk out a comprehensive plan to catch the sports talent from the very beginning then nurturing it by providing world class sports infrastructure with special stress on highly scientific and quality training. He said that our country was not lacking in availability of sports talent but the shortcomings were on our part that we were not able to convert those rare sports talents to world champions.
The Deputy Chief Minister informed that Punjab government has implemented a comprehensive sports policy and increased its sports department’s non-plan budget to three folds besides creating a dedicated sports fund of Rs.35 crore per annum. He said that the state government was giving final touches to its plan to set up a state centre of excellence in sports in 200 acres of land at Mullanpur near Chandigarh with provision of state-of-the-art facilities and world class training to produce sports stars of future. He said that the Punjab government has invested more than Rs.200 crore for setting up of 6 hockey stadiums with latest Astroturf, 7 multi-purpose stadiums and 1 international sports hostel.
Besides this a sports school has been established at village Ghudda (Bathinda) at the cost of Rs.50 crore and land was being identified for such school at Amritsar or Tarn Taran. He said that with in next 3 years all districts of the state would have such sports schools. He said that the laying of more Astroturf in the state was to bring back the lost glory of Indian hockey as Punjab has a long tradition of producing world class hockey players. He said that with setting up of these new turfs out of the total 23 Astroturf in the country Punjab have a major share of 8 turfs. He said that the experiment of state government of promotion of Punjab style Kabbadi has proved to be a grand success as for the 3rd edition of World Kabbadi Cup being organized from December 1-15, 2012, the 16 teams which includes 2 African countries, Iran, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Argentina and Sri Lanka, all non-Kabbadi playing countries have already confirmed their participation.
He said that Punjab government has implemented the 3% reservation for outstanding sportspersons and created 10 Group ‘A’ posts for international medalists. He proudly announced that world renowned sports persons like Manavjeet Singh Sandhu, Avneet Sidhu, Ronjan Sodhi, Rajpal Singh, Gurbaj Singh, Manjeet Kaur and Palwinder Cheema were now officers of Punjab government.
The Deputy Chief Minister urged the top business houses of the country to adopt one each game to make their significant contribution for the promotion of sports in the country. He said that by spending a little portion of their profits they can do a great service to the nation besides discharging their corporate social responsibility.
Outlining his agenda of sports promotion, the Deputy Chief Minister said that from creation of world class infrastructure to highly scientific training and then assured employment of sportspersons, the Punjab government would leave no stone unturned to regain its past glory by bringing the state on the national forefront in sports.
Later on, Badal presided over a meeting of Industrialists and explained them about the available investment opportunities in sports in the state and assured every possible help to them.
Earlier, R.V. Kanoria, President FICCI welcomed Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. Aloke Malik, Chairman FICCI Sports Committee and MD ESPN Star Sports (India), explained the theme of the summit while Justice Mukul Mudgal (Retd.) Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court and Onkar Kedia, Joint Secretary Youth Affairs and Sports, GOI also expressed their views. Sanjeev Paul, Co-Chairman FICCI Sports committee and Vice President Corporate services Tata Steel conducted the stage.
Badal was accompanied by former Indian Hockey Captain Pargat Singh, MLA, Kalpana Mittal Barua, Principal Resident Commissioner, Manvesh Singh Sidhu, Special Principal Secretary to Deputy Chief Minister and Shiv Dular Singh Dhillon, Director Sports, Punjab.