Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada presented a budget of Rs 1.5 trillion for the fiscal year 2077/78. Compared to last year, this year’s budget is 1.63 billion less.
The budget, which comes at a time of global Corona virus epidemic, was not expected to give much importance to sports. But the players and sports officials are disappointed as the budget is insufficient even for urgent work.
Addressing sports in budget speech:
1. Necessary funds have been allocated for the construction of international standard sports grounds and construction of provincial stadiums in the international cricket grounds and other cricket stadiums under construction. The work of developing Khelgram at all local levels has been continued.
2. Funds have been allocated for the construction and management of necessary infrastructure to conduct the Ninth National Sports Competition.
Nepal had achieved a historic success with 51 gold medals in the 13th South Asian Games held in Nepal last year. She had mentioned that the players would be encouraged in the policy and program made public by the President a few days ago. So the players were hoping for something. They are frustrated after the budget was made public. The current budget is not enough to encourage players and build sports infrastructure.
President of the National and International Sportsmen’s Association Deepak Shrestha said that the only thing left to do is to reduce the budget of the sports sector to zero. He said, “It seems that this budget has come only because of the idea of not making a leap in the field of sports but continuing to conduct sports activities.” If the Finance Minister had said two words about the ability development of the players as the President had said in the policy and program, the players could have been excited.
He said that it was a surprise that the President’s words were not included in the budget. But he also hopes that some things will come up in the Red Book.
“It’s okay if it’s in the red book, otherwise we’ve objected,” Shrestha said.
In the 13th SAGA, Nepal had won a total of 207 medals including 51 gold. The Government of Nepal has increased the cash prize money for the players who have won the medal this time and deposited it in the bank account of the player.
On the individual side, the gold medalist received Rs 900,000, the silver Rs 600,000 and the bronze Rs 300,000. In the same category, the gold winner received Rs 600,000, the silver winner Rs 400,000 and the bronze winner Rs 200,000.
There is a system in place to reward and honor the players who have won international medals. The winning player gets the prize, there is no provision for the winning player.
Players who win gold in green have been getting 6,000 monthly allowance for life. Silver and bronze winners do not get this facility.
“Our demand is that the silver and bronze winners should also get it,” said Shrestha, president of the players’ association. Then we sent the names of the silver and bronze winners with medals when Rajan KC was the minister. That has not been addressed yet.
Ayesha Shakya, who won double gold in Taekwondo on the 13th green, also said that the silver and bronze winners should get allowance.
“We, the gold medalists, get Rs 6,000. This is encouraging but it is not enough, ‘she said.
She said if the monthly allowance was increased for all the medal winners, the players would be encouraged and would not have to go abroad.
‘The second and the third should be given. If the monthly allowance is given to everyone, the number of players leaving the game and going to work abroad will decrease, ‘said Shakya.
The president of the players’ association says that a part included in the best budget has kept the hopes of the players.
“As the budget has been allocated for the Ninth National Games, there is a little bit of hope,” he said.
Shrestha estimates that there will not be much progress in sports infrastructure this year.
He said, “As the tenth national games will be held in Karnali, the budget has been allocated there.” You may have been told to keep working. Besides, there is no budget to complete any physical infrastructure.
This time in the budget, it has been said that a covered hall will be constructed in Karnali so that it can compete at the national level. Shrestha said the budget could not be criticized as the country was battling the corona virus epidemic.
“Under normal circumstances, the sports sector would be unfair,” he said.