New budget neglects sports sector



Finance Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara in the annual budget presented by him on Monday for Fiscal Year 2017/18 has given less priority to the sports sector.

Minister Mahara has allocated Rs 2.24 billions for the entire sports sector which is Rs 160 million less than allocated in the last fiscal budget. The capital expenditure has been reduced to Rs 2.76 million. Last time Rs 197.96 million was allocated under the title.

However the government has increased the amount under current expenditure as Rs 2.23 billion has been allocated on the title which is Rs 37.1 millions more than the amount allocated on the title last time.

Keshav Kumar Bista, member sectretary of National Sports Council (NSC), said that this budget hasn’t included new plans and programs as the caretaker government unveiled this budget just as the continuity of last year’s budget.

“There is no need of excitement or disappointment regarding this budget. It was unveiled based on the consensus reached among the political parties who agreed to introduce new budget without adding any new programs,” said Bista, “We hope the supplementary budget that is expected to be presented by to-be-formed government will allocate enough money for the big projects that NSC wants to begin.”

Meanwhile Finance Minister Mahara announced that the under-construction Mulpani International Cricket Ground will be given top priority and will be completed in time. He also said that the cricket grounds being constructed in eight different places in various parts of the country will be continued smoothly.

The government in the last year’s budget had pledged to conclude the construction of the cricket grounds in Mulpani, Bhairahawa and Dhangadhi within three years. The last government had also announced that it would start the construction of new cricket grounds in Dadeldhura, Baitadi, Dhanusha, Morang, Dang, Surkhet and Parsa districts.

The budget presented on Monday hasn’t even mentioned anything about the budget allocation needed for the construction of infrastructures for the 13th South Asian Games (SAG) to be held in Nepal.

Minister Mahara said that domestic tournaments of football and cricket will be held with support from business organizations adding that players will be encouraged to take part in different international sports events as well. Mahara also insisted on bringing professional players under the tax net providing them pan numbers.

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