The Indian Olympic Association has urged the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for a financial assistance of ₹ 200 crore to revive sports from the effect of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The one-time assistance is sought for various sports governing bodies, which are challenged to meet their routine expenditure since sponsorship is feared to be affected badly due to the declining business and closed industries in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
IOA president Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra in a letter to Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has urged for a one-time assistance of ₹ 10 crore to the IOA, ₹ 5 crore each for national sports federations for Olympic disciplines, ₹ 2.50 crore each for the non-Olympic disciplines and ₹ 1 crore each for the State Olympic associations. The collective requirement will amount to around ₹ 220 crore.
“Due to the ongoing pandemic and lockdown, we the sports bodies are unlikely to get any Sponsorship and hence we may find it very difficult to restart our activities effectively,” Dr Batra has stated in the letter.
“We do not see sponsors coming forward till/and after Olympics in 2021 to assist us and hence we will require handholding by the Union Government,” he added. “The assistance will enable them to tide over the cash crunch being faced by them.
“The whole world now is facing an Extremely Difficult time due to the COVID-19 Pandemic…It (the pandemic) has affected the business, employment as well as the Sports Activities in their respective countries.
“All sports competitions training and other related activities have come to a standstill and now in order to restart all these activities, it will require lot of financial support to IOA/NSFs/SOAs.”
Batra has also give the ministry an option for audit of the allotted funds. “After the pandemic when restrictions are lifted, we then will have to restart and rebuild all over once again. There are many conditions which will now be attached with the running of daily affairs and they will require money/cash to implement.
“We will have no objection for providing the funds utilization certificates, duly certified & verified by C&AG approved auditor/s.”