New Delhi: President of General Association of National Sports Federations VK Malhotra launched another verbal attack on Sports Minister MS Gill, saying that his claims of doubling the prize money for Commonwealth and Asian Games medal winners are "totally misleading".
"Mr Gill has announced that in the coming Commonwealth Games and Asian Games medal winners will get Rs 20 lakh for Gold, Rs 10 lakh for Silver and Rs 6 lakh for bronze medal. In 2002 Commonwealth Games and Asian Games prize money given to gold, silver and bronze medal winner was 20 lakh, 10 lakh and 6 lakh respectively. Now after eight years to maintain the prize money at the same level of 2002 is ridiculous," Malhotra said.
"In between Pay Commission has increased the pay scale of Government servants by 300 per cent. Pay of Member of Parliaments (MPs) and pension to Ex MPs has also gone up by three times. Price index has also gone up and cost of most of the items has also gone up by 300 per cent. By keeping the prize money at that of the year 2002 and taking pride in that, is laughable," he added.
Malhotra said he has written to both the Prime Minister and Sports Minister asking that the prize money to be given to the medal winners of this year`s Commonwealth and Asian Games should be "at least 2.5 times the amount given in the 2002 Games."
"The government has spent Rs 900 crore on the beautification/uglification of Connaught Place, about Rs 1000 crore for renovation of Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium and hundreds of crore on improvement of footpaths but to keep prize money to medal winners to Rs 5 to 7 crore is atrocious," he said.
"The government is following `penny wise pound foolish` policy. I will again request the Prime Minister as suggested earlier to enhance the prize money for Commonwealth & Asian Games to Rs 50 lakh for Gold, Rs 30 lakh for Silver and Rs 20 lakh for Bronze medal winners," Malhotra said.