Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India] March 31 (ANI): As part of efforts for the development of the sports sector in the state, the Odisha government enhanced its sports budget to Rs 602 crore in the annual budget 2022-23 presented in the state assembly on Wednesday.
"It was Rs 405 crore in 2021-22 state budget. Under this budget, Rs 411 crore will be provided for the development of sports infrastructure which reflects the state government's commitment to promoting and developing sports. The government is investing in transforming the sports landscape from the grassroots right to the elite level," Odisha Sports Minister Tusharkanti Behera said.
"The key sports infrastructure kitty includes the Birsa Munda International hockey Stadium that is ongoing at Rourkela and will be ready by later this year to host the Men's Hockey World Cup 2023. In addition, the Kalinga Stadium Expansion Project and the 89 multi-purpose indoor halls will bring about a wave of change in sports training and development of a holistic ecosystem in Odisha." Behera added.
The minister said that the state government's vision is aligned to India's vision to be among the top ten countries in sports.
"These investments in sports will ensure that our progress over the last year is unhindered. Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have brought about a paradigm shift in the way people perceive sports. And we have accounted for many programmes, competitions and initiatives in this direction within this budget to empower our sportspersons," he said.
Apart from Rs 411 crore for infrastructure development, Rs 115 crore will be provided for the promotion of sports education and Rs 11 crore for the state's support to Khelo India and the remaining amount will be for other administrative expenditures.
Sports has been one of the priority sectors for the Odisha government over the last decade. The state government has invested significantly in sports between 2010-11 and 2021-22, starting with the sports budget of Rs 28 crores in 2010-11 to Rs 301 crore in 2020-21 and Rs 405 crore in 2021-22 with a major portion dedicated to infrastructure development and hosting major events. (ANI)