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SAI sends SOS to Sports Ministry due to short of funds

SAI sends SOS to Sports Ministry due to short of funds
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Is the Sports Authority of India SAI struggling with a shortage of funds in an allimportant Olympic qualifying year for the 2020 Tokyo Games

New Delhi: Is the Sports Authority of India (SAI) struggling with a shortage of funds in an all-important Olympic qualifying year for the 2020 Tokyo Games?

As per reports, it is learnt that SAI is still waiting for Rs 174 crore for the current fiscal year 2018-19. The significant shortage of amount forms part of the Annual Calendar for Training and Competitions’ (ACTC) proposals under the ‘Scheme of Assistance to National Sports Federations’.

It’s been known that SAI had raised a demand of Rs 340 crore with the sports ministry under the NSF scheme for 2018-19. According to sources, only Rs 166 crore has been released by the ministry so far to the SAI, prompting SAI to again knock on the ministry’s doors to release the balance amount of Rs 174 crore at the earliest to meet the current liabilities and pending proposals of the NSFs.

The amount is significant in itself since the money granted under this scheme is actually spent by the NSFs on athletes’ training and equipment needs, participation in international tournaments and exposure trips abroad. It’s been learnt that SAI director general, Neelam Kapur, has written to sports secretary Rahul Bhatnagar with a specific request to release funds to SAI.

In the know of the development, people fear that the lack of funds may affect the Tokyo preparations of the country’s sportspersons and hamper NSFs’ plans to fund the training and participation of their athletes. Sources say, due to a shortage of funds, the sports body’s internal revenues are being constantly utilised for ACTC scheme. Some in the SAI also fear that such use of its internal revenues may result in audit objections.

It’s been learnt that SAI has demanded an estimated amount of Rs 415 crore which will be required during the 2019-20 financial year to fund preparations for Tokyo Games.

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