Imphal, Feb 25, (DIPR)
Chief Minister N Biren Singh has assured to increase the annual budget of Youth Affairs and Sports (YAS) to Rs 100 crore in the 2019-20 fiscal for further development of sports in the State. He was speaking as the chief guest at Shannaroishinggi Numit organised by Department of Youth Affairs and Sports at Khuman Lampak Main Stadium today.
N Biren said that a sizeable hike in the budget estimate would enable development of sports infrastructure and hiring of competent coaches from other States and countries.
Stating that he is suspicious of past misutilisation of Rs 100 crore sanctioned under 13th Finance Commission for the development of Khuman Lampak Main Stadium and Khuman Lampak Hockey Stadium, the Chief Minister said that an independent body would be entrusted to probe the matter soon.
Urging the associations of different sports disciplines to communicate with the Government before taking the players to other States for participation in different championships and tournaments, the Chief Minister said that the Government would try to clear at least half of the entitled financial assistance in advance for the convenience of players and associations.
Concerning the inconveniences faced by players while travelling in trains, the CM asked the associations to properly plan for travelling, fooding and lodging in advance to avoid the inconveniences while travelling.
Encouraging the players to put in more effort to bring laurels to the State and the country, the Chief Minister also announced to hike the cash incentives for the National level competitions from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 6 lakh. He further said that daily allowance of the players who take part in the National level competitions would be increased from Rs 200 to Rs 500 and participation incentive which was Rs 100 only will be hiked to Rs 1,000. The State Cabinet would take a decision in this regard at the earliest, he added. Stating that the Government is ready to provide jobs to all the State players who are currently playing/working outside the State, the Chief Minister urged them to return to the State.
He said that the Government is currently awarding Rs 1 crore to Olympic gold medallists, Rs 75 lakh to silver medallists, Rs 50 lakh to broze medallist and Rs 25 lakh to Olympic participants. Informing that the Government has also begun awarding a cash prize of Rs 20 lakh to Gold medal winners at International tournaments, the Chief Minister said that Mirabai Chanu had been recently awarded the said amount recently.
N Biren said that flood lighting facility would soon be installed at Khuman Lampak Main Stadium and astro-turf would be laid at four football grounds of the State soon. The Chief Minister also mentioned about the importance of discipline and extra efforts in the players’ quest for achieving success in games and sports.
On the other hand, expressing concern over drug menace currently witnessed in the State, the Chief Minister asked the players and youths to extend support to the Government’s ‘War on Drugs’ campaign.
He said that the ongoing campaign is being carried out under the supervision of a senior police officer who is at the level of an IGP. The Chief Minister also urged the public to celebrate festivals like Yaoshang in a way to avoid disturbance to others and by preserving the traditional and cultural values.
Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Letpao Haokip and YAS Secretary Bobby Waikhom also attended the function as president and guest of honour respectively.
In his speech, Letpao Haokip said that February 25 is organised as Shannaroishinggi Numit every year in commemoration of the precious day on which Manipur was declared the winner of the prestigious Raja Bhalendra Singh Overall Team Championship Trophy in the 5th National Games held in Manipur in 1999.
It is a matter of pride that the State occupies an important place in the field of games and sports in the country, he said while adding that it is because of the hard work and strong determination of the players.
Stating that lack of infrastructure and other problems had never dampened the spirit of the sportspersons of the State, the Minister said that the present Government under the abled leadership of Chief Minister N Biren Singh is committed to enhance the sports infrastructure. New infrastructures would be developed not only in the State capital but also in all the districts with the funds from NLCPR, NEC, State Budget and Khelo India programme, he added.
Government officials, members and executives of different sports associations and players also attended the function.
Later, the Chief Minister also flagged off a run organised as part of the celebration.
Imphal, Feb 25, (DIPR)