Haryana Chief Minister ML khattar has unveiled a new sports policy for his state. (Press Trust of India)
The Haryana government has unveiled a new sports policy which entails a number of steps aimed at benefitting sportspersons from the state. At a function organised at Rohtak to unveil the policy document, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced pensions and also assured government employment for sportspersons who win medals.
The new policy would also entail substantial increases in cash rewards for medal winners at international events, winners of government sports awards and assistance for institutions producing champions.
Mr Khattar made these announcements while unveiling the 'Haryana Physical Activities and Sports Policy-2015' at a function held to mark the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.
The policy hiked the cash award for Olympic/Paralympic gold medal winners to Rs 6 crore from the previous Rs 5 crore, with an increase of Rs 1 crore and Rs 50 lakh for silver and broze winners respectively.The cash rewards medal-winners at the Asian and Commonwealth games have also been hiked substantially, with gold medalists getting Rs 3 crore, up from the previous Rs 2 crore.
Only sportspersons who who have represented the state of Haryana in any sport, with residency or domicile in the state would be eligible for the cash awards.
Addressing a crowd of sports persons, support staff and students the Chief Minister underlined the imperative for assured monthly incomes for outstanding sportspersons, saying they spend the prime of their youth in pursuit of intensive training.
Mr Khattar also announced that a honorarium and pension would be given to Arjuna, Dhyanchand and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardees from Haryana, in addition to the incentives given by the Centre.
Haryana Sports Minister Anil Vij said the policy would do away with discretion and create transparency in the provision of employment in the government sector through well-defined criteria for sportspersons who win medals in recognized international competitions, or for outstanding sportspersons of international repute who have represented India.
The new policy also creates incentives for the coaches and institutions that produce medal-winners. While the reward scheme for coaches is to be announced at a later date, the Haryana government has said it would formulate a scheme to identify the mother institution of medal winning sportspersons and provide financial support to the tune of 10 percent of the award value, aimed at improving infrastructure and equipment, with the aim of supporting the development of more sporting talent through that institution.
The policy of giving giving cash rewards and government jobs to the medal winners was started by the previous government of Bhupinder Singh Hooda. The present BJP government claims it has fine tuned the existing policy, and shut all loopholes, leaving no room for partiality.