Union Sports Budget 2022: Turning to a New Page

Union Sports Budget 2022:
Turning to a New Page

EBTC | 4th Feb 2022

The 2022 Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has been lauded as progressive and growth oriented. With a 35% increase in capital expenditure, the budget targets a growth of 9.2% for the coming fiscal year, making it one of the fastest growing major economies in the world.

A transformational shift has also been witnessed in the Sports Budget presented. After a span of 4 years, the budget has seen double-digit growth with over INR 3000 crores allocated to the sector. More importantly, there has been a significant change in the allocation structure signaling an evolution of strategic thinking.

While the budget has seen most of its INR 300 crore plus increase directed towards Khelo India, allocation towards Sports Authority of India, National Sports Development Fund and several past flagship initiatives and institutions have minimally reduced.

With the next edition of Olympics only three years away and several high-profile competitions leading up to the same, India’s focus on grassroots and youth development is only justified. Khelo India has been a successful platform to not only unearth the next generation of talent, but also provide access to sports, thus using its power as a tool for community development and social equity.

"It is wonderful to see the commitment of the Government to the Sports sector by the year-on-year increase in the budget”, commented Mr. Vincent can Noord, Director, Europe at European Business and Technology Centre and Cluster Lead for the EBTC Europe-India Sports Cluster.

“The extended funds made available for Khelo India is encouraging. In my view, this platform could lead to the foundation for major, international success in Sports for India, among others. The 12 verticals that Khelo India is focusing on are not only extremely important for grassroots development, but also for public health in general. Some of the key areas here are: sports infrastructure, playfields, coaching, academies for all ages and gender including the specially abled etc.

Perhaps there could be more coherence with the respective sports federations and Khelo India as well, especially where tournaments and leagues are concerned. This would allow the federations to prosper and demonstrate their added value to ensure organised, structured, well managed and continuous leagues/ competitions.

Hopefully the ongoing focus will also be on the development of international standard, smart and sustainable infrastructure where we keep in mind the #environmental issues and at the same time look for #financial sustainability through innovative business models. More and more we are seeing this approach for the professional leagues, but moving forward this should also be considered for the larger audience.

India has the potential to be a Sports powerhouse in the next 5 years and I honestly feel we are on the right track. The increase in #budget will definitely help."

Ms. Prafulla Agarwal, Executive Global Director at CBRE also appreciated the increased allocation to the sector. CBRE is a founding member of the EBTC Europe-India Sports Cluster.

“The overall Union Budget is quite progressive and touches upon aspects that are critical to economic development and wellbeing”, she mentioned.

“Sports is an integral part of the latter, and with the budget of 2022-23 allocating over INR 3062.60 crore to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports - these resources will go a long way with the upcoming Asian and Commonwealth Games.

Despite a minimal reduction in The Sports Authority of India's budget, we believe it is an exciting time for the sector. As the year progresses, we can expect the government to focus more on improving sports infrastructure, conduct more competitions and camps with an eye on the upcoming events and the 2024 Summer Olympics.”

Sports is also slated to play a crucial role in social cohesion and mindfulness as the country emerges out of the shadows of the pandemic and associated physical restrictions. As both professional and amateur sports grow in the country, it is important that adequate focus is given towards access to quality coaching and smart infrastructure. This will not only help bring the best out of future athletes, but also create a healthier society. This is crucial to ensure financial sustainability of sports as a sector.

sports, budget, Khelo India, sustainability, infrastructure