Sports Budget 2023: Top highlights as govt allocates highest ever budget

Abhiruchi Rout

February 8 2023
Sports Budget 2023

The sports sector receives a Rs 700 crore boost in its allocation.

The Sports Ministry was handed a major boost ahead of the upcoming Asian Games and the preparations for next year’s Paris Olympics with the government allocating a record Rs 3,397.32 crore for the sports sector in its Union Budget FY 2023-24. It is the highest-ever budget allocation for sports in its history with an increase of Rs 723.97 crore from the previous year’s allocation.

Apart from the sports sector, the departments of Roads & Railways and Education also received the biggest allocations ever, with the latter witnessing a jump of 13% after an allocation of Rs 1,12899 crore against the Rs 99,881.13 crore (revised figures) allocation last year. In the sports budget, Khelo India – the government’s flagship programme – received the biggest allocation, while the Sports Authority of India (SAI) also saw a Rs 36.09 crore boost.

Here we take a look at the major highlights of the sports financial budget allocation for the year 2023-24.

Highest-ever budget allocation for sports sector

A total budget of Rs 3,397.32 crore was allotted for the ministry of youth affairs and sports for the fiscal year 2023-24. The allocation is the highest-ever for the sports sector with an increase of over Rs 300 crore from last year when Rs 3,062.60 crore was allotted.

While the sports ministry was allotted Rs 3,062.60 crore for the financial year 2022-23, it only received Rs 2,673.35 crore after the figures were revised. The modified allotment was perhaps due to the postponement of the Hangzhou Asian Games by a year and other factors. If the revised figures are taken into account, this year’s sports budget saw an increase of Rs 723.97 crore.

Khelo India Program biggest beneficiary

The government of India’s flagship program, Khelo India, will receive a major boost, with the allocation of Rs 1,045 crore. Under the program introduced to revive the sporting culture in India, Khelo India Youth Games and Khelo India University Games are organized in the country. Khelo India remains the government’s priority and has received a major boost of over Rs 40 crore. Last year, it was initially allotted Rs 974 crore but only received Rs 606 crore after revised expenditure estimates.

The Khelo India Youth Games have already begun starting from January 31, 2023, and will commence until February 11, 2023. Although the date for the University Games hasn’t been announced yet, Uttar Pradesh will play as the host to the mega event.

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Increase in budget for Sports Authority of India

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has been allotted an amount of Rs 785.52 crore compared to the last year’s revised expenditure of Rs 749.43 crore. It has witnessed a marginal increase of Rs 36.09 crore increase in its budget allocation from the previous fiscal year.

While this will be a welcome move as the qualifying events for both the postponed Asian Games 2022 and Paris Olympics 2024 are scheduled for this year, perhaps more funds could have been allocated.

The Sports Authority of India oversees the Mission Olympic Cell (MOC), an organization established to discover and support individuals selected through the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) program. In addition, SAI also arranges national senior and junior camps for the athletes, provides infrastructure and equipment and maintains them, appoints coaches and more.

Assistance to National Sports Federations

The assistance to the National Sports Federations (NSFs) has also been increased. Keeping in mind that two of the biggest events would soon be commencing – the Asian Games 2022 and Paris Olympics 2024, the government has increased the funding by Rs 45 crore as compared to last year.

While the NSFs received a budgetary allocation of Rs 280 crore last year, this year it has risen to Rs 325 crore. This would allow the federations in sending athletes to more international competitions for better exposure and experience. In the last Olympics in Tokyo, India won seven medals, including a historic gold in Javelin. The country would hope to double that tally in Paris.

Incentives for sportspersons cut down

As against the increase in various departments, the incentives for sportspersons have been reduced from Rs 55 crore to Rs 45 crore. Although it is not known why the amount is lessened, one possible reason can be the government targeting the Summer Olympics and Paralympics 2024. The government might be planning to give prizes money/ awards based on their performance at the grandest stage.

Allotment increased for other autonomous bodies

Alongside SAI, the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sanghatan and Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development are the two organizations that come under the autonomous bodies of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. An allocation of Rs 140.07 crore in comparison to the 2022-23’s Rs 130.26 crore is being done.

Enhancement of Sports in Jammu & Kashmir

An amount of Rs 15 crore has been allotted for the enhancement of sports and games in Jammu Kashmir, compared to the last financial year’s Rs 5 crore. However, there have been no announcements relating to any sporting events taking place in Jammu and Kashmir this year.


A total of Rs 75 crore have been allocated to the Lakshmibai National Institute Of Physical Education (LNIPE) against the previous year’s Rs 61 crore. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports is responsible for overseeing the institute, which works to promote excellence in physical education, coaching, and sports across the nation.

Commonwealth Games 2010

Many people might find it surprising, but, indeed, the union government has also allotted a budget for the Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2010, New Delhi. India played host to CWG 2010 in which 4352 athletes from 71 Commonwealth nations and dependencies participated.

The Indian Olympic Association had initially predicted that the cost of holding the Games would be $16.2 billion. However, the official total budget quickly grew to approximately 115 billion in 2010, excluding non-sports infrastructure construction.

The financial budget for 2023-24 has been allocated a large sum of Rs 30 crore against last year’s Rs 1 crore. It is not disclosed or reported by the Sports Ministry, however, the amount can be spent on settling old payments.

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