Karachi: The economic slowdown in Pakistan has hit sports in the country with the government reducing the budgetary allocation by 60 per cent.
After an allocation of Rs 589 million last year, the government has reduced the amount to Rs 229.65 million in the new budget.
The government had earlier promised to increase funds for sports development projects and in the grants of national federations.
But only Rs 206.19 million have been kept aside for completing 40 ongoing development projects besides Rs 23 million for six new projects.
The government has earmarked Rs 1.65 million for the construction of a new sports residential academy in Islamabad.
The ongoing development projects for which money has been allocated includes gymnasiums, boxing gymnasiums and swimming pools in Islamabad, Quetta, Peshawar, Karachi, Nawabshah, Lower Dir.
Many national sports federations have already been complaining about lack of funds in their annual grants which they say is not enough to meet the expenses of sending contingents abroad.
“Due to the global recession we are already facing problems finding sponsors and now with this massive cut the situation will only get worse,” Alamgir Sheikh, the President of the Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Association said.
Cricket is the only sport in Pakistan which is self sufficient and generates its own funds while national sport Hockey has survived because of generous special grants from the Prime Minister or some viable sponsorship deals.