Pensions to meritorious players doubled: Sports Minister Rathore

ANI | Updated: Feb 09, 2018 20:15 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 9 (ANI): Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on Friday announced that the pensions of meritorious players will be doubled.

While addressing a press conference, Rathore said, "Olympic medalists will get Rs 20,000 from previous Rs 10,000 while World Cup and Asian gold-medallist will be getting Rs 16,000 from previous Rs 8,000."

He further informed that Paralympics players are also being treated at par as they will get same pension increment.

The minister further informed that the National Program for Development of Sports, in the form of revamped Khelo India scheme, has received a massive boost in allocation.

"From Rs 158 crore in 2016-17, the allocation for the program stands at Rs 575 crore for FY 18-19," he said.

To develop sports in Jammu and Kashmir, a separate allocation of Rs 50 crore has been made, while for northeastern states, the budget increased from Rs 148 crores in 2017-18 to Rs 173 crore in 2018-19, Rathore informed.

He notified that a National Sports University in Manipur has started offering courses and a bill granting statutory status to the same has been introduced in the Parliament.

"An amount of Rs 50 crore (at an approximate cost of Rs 25 crore per University, which may go upto Rs 50 crores per University depending on actual requirement) will be earmarked for supporting hubs of sporting excellence, Rathore said.

Rathore said, "Under Long Term Athlete Development Program, 1,000 athletes will be provided funding. It will also include the program of coaches' development. A budget of Rs 30 crore from previous Rs 10 crore has been allocated for this."

The Sports Minister apprised that under TOP scheme, 220 athletes have been declared eligible for 'Out of Pocket Allowance' from September 2017.

He said, "This allowance, at rupees 50,000 per month per athlete, will be for the miscellaneous pocket expenditure of those athletes.NSDF has released a total amount of Rs 4.62 crore till date on account of 'Out of Pocket Allowance' to 206 athletes. The payment is held up in the case of 14 athletes due to non-availability of Aadhar/NADA clearance etc."

Rathore notified that for development of coaching to players, the Budget Estimate for 2017-18 has been enhanced from Rs 10 crores to Rs 30 crores in BE 2018-19, which is an increase of 200 percent. (ANI)