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34% increase in Odisha's Sports Budget for financial year 2023-24

To boost sports in the state, Odisha government has announced a staggering 34 per cent increase in its sports budget for the fiscal year 2023-24.

34% increase in Odishas Sports Budget for financial year 2023-24
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Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik at the site of the indoor stadium this week (Odisha Sports)

By

PTI

Updated: 25 Feb 2023 11:11 AM GMT

To boost sports in the state, Odisha government has announced a staggering 34 per cent increase in its sports budget for the fiscal year 2023-24. With a total allocation of Rs 1,217 crore, the sports budget in Odisha is likely to be one of the highest in the country.

This remarkable increase from last year’s budget of Rs 911 crore is a testament to the government's unwavering support for sports in the state and is a continued realisation of Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik’s vision of "Sports for youth, youth for future".

Odisha has come a long way in terms of its investment in sports. In 2010, the state's sports budget was approximately Rs 20 crores. Over the past decade, the government has demonstrated a clear commitment to sports by steadily increasing its budget allocation.

The current budget includes Rs 30 crore for training and coaching, Rs 24 crore for Sports Competition, Rs 10 crore for Incentives and Awards, Rs 5 crore for Khelo India, and Rs 3 crore for Financial Assistance to outstanding sports persons for advanced training coaching and participation in sports competitions.

The state has already hosted the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup for a second consecutive time, which was a landmark event, organised across two venues. It has also hosted the Santosh Trophy within the first quarter of this year.

In the coming months, the state is set to host the FIH Men’s Pro League and the National Championship for Hockey at Rourkela, among other events.

These events serve as a platform to showcase the state's capabilities in hosting both international and national events and highlights the government's vision to promote Sports and position itself as a sports hub in India.

Noting that the state government's focus on sports is not limited to hosting events alone, Odisha’s Sports secretary R Vineel Krishna said the government is also prioritizing the development of sports infrastructure in the state.

It is committed to creating state-of-the-art facilities that can serve as a training ground for budding athletes. While the iconic Kalinga Sports Complex located in Bhubaneshwar is one of the best sports facilities in the country, the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela has recently been inducted into the Guinness book of world records as the largest fully-seated hockey stadium of the world.

Despite an abundance of pandemic induced challenges, the facility also houses an Olympic-style Hockey Village with 250 rooms, he said.

In addition to infrastructure development, the government is also prioritizing training and coaching for athletes. It recognizes the importance of providing quality coaching and training facilities to athletes to enable them to compete at the highest level.

The Kalinga Sports complex is equipped with various High-Performance Centres in Hockey, Sports Science, Swimming, Athletics and others. The state has rapidly become a hub for sports federations and athletes.

Ninety multipurpose halls are nearing completion across the state, while regions like Puri, Berhampur, Jeypore, Jharsuguda will also see a surge in sports complexes and training centres.

The government's sports budget also includes provisions for various sports welfare schemes for sportspersons. The government aims to provide financial assistance to athletes to enable them to compete at the highest level without worrying about the financial burden.

The government is committed to incentivising younger athletes of the future while also looking after athletes of the past.

Minister of Sports and Youth Services, Tusharkanti Behera said, "We are extremely grateful to the Chief Minister for his unwavering support for sports in Odisha. His vision and commitment have been instrumental in transforming Odisha into a global sports hub.”

The government's focus on sports infrastructure development, training and coaching, and welfare schemes for sportspersons demonstrates its commitment to the growth of sports in the state, he added.

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