New Delhi: The union sports ministry Thursday expressed satisfaction at a Rs.214 crore increase in its budget allocated by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in the 2013-14 budget.
Chidambaram earmarked Rs.1,219 for the ministry of youth affairs and sports in the budget presented to parliament Thursday. Last year, the ministry`s budget was Rs.1,152 crore which was later revised to Rs.1005.60 crore.
"I am satisfied with the budget. It has been a significant increase from last year," sports secretary P.K. Deb said.
Out of the total outlay, Rs.792.72 crore has been kept aside for sports and games while the youth department gets Rs.301 crore.
Asked whether he wanted more money for sports, Deb said: "There is always scope for allocating more funds to a ministry and same is the case with sports. But finance ministry has provides us with this amount (Rs.1,219 crore) and we are okay with it. In case, we need more funds, we will surely go back to the finance ministry."
There has been a steep reduction in the sports budget since the 2010 Commonwealth Games. In 2011, the government allocated Rs.1,121 in comparison to Rs.3,315 crore and Rs.3,670 in the previous two financial years.
India next prepares for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, which will be a crucial stepping stone for the Indian athletes ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics.