The Haryana government has asked sportspersons to deposit one-third of their income earned from professional sports or commercial endorsements to the Haryana State Sports Council. In a notification dated 30 April 2018, the government said that the collected money will be used for the development of sports in the state.
The notification signed by Principal Secretary to Haryana government, Dr Ashok Khemka said:
"The Governor of Haryana is pleased to notify the following conditions governing the participation of sportspersons in professional sports or commercial endorsements in any Department of the State Government or any body controlled by the state:-
- The sportsperson shall be accorded extraordinary leave (without pay) during the said period. One-third of the income earned by the sportsperson from professional sports or commercial endorsements will be deposited with the Haryana State Sports Council. The money shall be used for the development of sports in the State.
- In case the sportsperson is treated on duty with the prior approval of the competent authority while taking part in professional sports or commercial endorsements, the full income earned by the sportsperson on this account will be deposited with the Haryana State Sports Council."
The move has drawn sharp criticism from the athletes. However, they have maintained that they have not got any official communication on the same so far.
Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar said that the government should make policies to encourage athletes as they are already from poor families. "I have not yet seen the notification, I am only coming to know of it through media reports. I can only say that the athletes who compete in Olympic sports are already from very poor families. The government should make policies which encourage athletes. I haven't heard of such a policy anywhere else in the world. The athlete should be competing with a free mind, not with stress like this," he said.
Calling it a senseless decision, wrestler and Olympic bronze-medallist Yogeshwar Dutt said the contribution from these officials have been zero and such a move will result in the decline of sports. "God save us from such officials, who are taking senseless decisions like this. Their contribution to the development of sports in Haryana has been zero but I am sure, they will play a big role in the decline of sports in the state," he tweeted.
"Now, athletes will move to other states and these officials will be responsible for this," he added.
Earlier, the Haryana government had faced the ire for its decision to reduce the prize money for Commonwealth Games medal winners from the state who were employed with other departments or states. The felicitation function planned for the prize money distribution on April 26 had to be eventually cancelled indefinitely when the athletes threatened to boycott it.