Businessmen's Thoughts on Budget 2024: allocation towards sports sector before Paris Olympics

Paris 2024 Summer Olympics is coming closer and the Union Budget is allocating towards the sports sector. Gain insight into the views of prominent businessmen by reading below.

Shruti Chopra
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Understanding how the Union Budget can be allocated towards the sports sector is crucial to understand for India to reach their full potential in the world of sports. Paris 2024 is just around the corner and it is time that India shines in the grand games, but for this funding is important. 

Importance of fostering grassroots programs 

Chairman and Managing Director of the Punit Balan Group Punit Balan looked back stating, "Last year's significant boost in the sports budget showcased the government's commitment to supporting athletic talent. Considering the Paris Olympics 2024 this year, I hope to see a continued emphasis on encouraging and building future stars."

Balan has conveyed satisfaction with the funding provided from the year and hopes for further support this year due to the Olympics taking place. He also brought attention to particular types of programs by saying "The combination of grassroots initiatives like Khelo India and the professional leagues is essential for nurturing talent and ensuring a sustainable ecosystem for Indian sports." Such programs require constant economic support from the government to function. Khelo India requires funds as they organize sports events and reward winners.

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Others also expressed the importance of running grassroots programs. CEO of U Mumba, Suhail Chandhok conveyed “With the rapid development of emerging homegrown sports leagues, we anticipate an allocation of funds to elevate their prominence in the country. We also hope for a strategic focus on talent identification and grassroots development which to me are crucial pillars for creating a vibrant sports ecosystem."

Chandhok brings to light how sports have an ecosystem of their own and require financial support. He added, "Investing in these areas will not only promote but also contribute to the sustainable development of diverse sporting disciplines.” Here he brings up an important point regarding different types of sports being encouraged in India.   

Encouraging diverse sports disciplines 

CEO and League Commissioner of Ultimate Kho Kho Tenzing Niyogi remarked "Aligning with the nation's vision to host the 2036 Olympics under the leadership of our honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, we expect a strategic allocation for non-cricketing sports for infrastructure and talent development across diverse sporting disciplines." Here he emphasized the requirement for strategic allocations to ensure that efforts are made toward Indians excelling in all areas of sports and athletics. 

Niyogi listed the funds that are required for sports programs stating "The allocation of funds from NSF is also of utmost importance..An increase in the National Skill Development Fund is also imperative. This is not only in line with making India a multisport-playing nation but also with the creation of more opportunities through the PPP model to engage and entice additional corporate participation in the Sports Movement." Creating opportunities requires funds and without money athletes and sports players can not reach their full potential. 

Funding required for infrastructure 

Yuva Kabaddi Series CEO Vikas K Gautam expressed "The allocation of funds towards the training of coaches is crucial, given the current lack of infrastructure and the absence of internationally standardized coaching facilities. It is imperative to recognize that only well-trained coaches can cultivate athletes to compete at the international level." Here he is bringing to attention the need for better coaches for the country.  Investing in experienced coaches who are highly skilled in their field requires a decent amount of financial support from the government. 

He then emphasized, "holistic development programs, focusing on talent identification and nurturing, nutrition, and sports science, to create a well-rounded ecosystem for aspiring athletes.” Providing a well-balanced diet and conducting research on sports will require monetary support.

Reducing GST on sports services 

Co-founder & CEO of Gamepoint Aditya Reddy, stated "In order to transform the sports sector in India, it is imperative to encourage and incentivize private sports organizations. This can be made possible by reducing the GST on sports services from 18% to 12%, incentivizing the establishment of sports goods manufacturing in India through a PLI scheme for sports equipment, and facilitating access to government, railways, and PSU sports facilities for the general public." Reddy brings up an interesting point regarding reducing taxes, however, this would be a matter that the government of India would look into and implement over time. 

Overall the need for grassroots programs, encouragement towards all sports, boosting sports infrastructure, and reducing GST taxes for services linked to sports are the main points that were brought up. Understanding what areas require funding helps to better organize the budget and is also useful when asking for financial support.