The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports saw an increase in its budget allocation by INR 724.72 crores compared to the revised 2022-2023 budget, making it the highest-ever allocation at INR 3389.56 crores for 2023-2024.
To start with, Khelo India, a scheme that looks to work with athletes and nurture them at the ground level, received an allocation of INR 1045 crores. This is down by INR 10 cr from the fiscal year. But if we look at the revised estimates of the previous year, the allocated amount witnesses a jump of more than INR 400 cr. But it really depends on the way you look at it. If the revised estimate comes on similar lines as the previous year, then there isn't much to look into it.
The Assistance to National Sports Federation increased by INR 45 cr to be at INR 325 cr. Sports Authority of India too saw an increase in its allocation. The numbers stood at INR 785.52 cr vs the revised estimate of FY22 - 749.43 cr. The Incentive to Sports Persons has received a budget allocation of 45.00 crores, a decrease of 10.00 crores from the previous year.
Last year, INR 30 cr was allocated to the Commonwealth Games, which comes under the entire budget allocated to Khelo India, and INR 1 cr was the figure that came out in the revised estimates. This year too, the allocation hasn't changed and stays at INR 30 cr. But again, the revised estimate, later on, will have to be taken into consideration.
The budget allocated to other autonomous bodies like Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, and Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development, which also includes SAI, increased by over INR 100 cr to stand at INR 1435.58 cr. It is worth noting that the actual allocated amount for the previous year was INR 1188 cr, but the revised estimate came in at INR 1316.13 cr.
The increase in the overall budget is a welcome move, but it still is far from what is expected if India aims to become a sporting powerhouse like China. The case in point being China's almost 10 billion yuan spend ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. The Paris Olympics is now the next big target, and it remains to be seen how well India performs.