Uttarakhand government will put additional 0.5 percent cess on liquor to collect revenue to develop sports facilities and infrastructure in the state, said minister for sports and youth affairs Arvind Pandey on Monday. Pandey shared the information with media while revealing details of the draft of the state’s new sports policy in Dehradun.
“There has always been issues with funds needed to provide adequate facilities to the sportspersons of the state. Hence we have decided to put 0.5 percent cess on the excise duty to collect revenue which will be used to develop sports facilities and infrastructure,” said Pandey, adding that the move has been approved in principle by chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.
Pandey said that the new sports policy would be the “best in the country” and will have various provisions to develop sports facilities and promote sports activities in the state.
“To promote the sportspersons in the state, we would also offer 5 percent quota in admissions in state’s universities, colleges and even for vocational courses. There would also be sports quota in government jobs for medal-winning sportspersons – 10 percent in non-enforcement departments and 15 percent in enforcement departments,” he said.
“Apart from this, outstanding sportspersons will also be given a pay hike and promotion.”
The minister also informed that under the new sports policy, the government would open a sports science centre in the state to develop sports with related science.
“We would also provide scholarship to young sportspersons ageing 8 to 14 years. The amount is yet to be decided. A single window system would also be introduced where a sportsperson or anybody related to sports activities would state their problems instead of going from pillar to post,” said Pandey.
He also said that the policy will have special provisions for girls and women under which “they would be given sports training which will also help them in self-defence.”
Under the new sports policy, the government will also provide travelling facilities, including free travel in Uttarakhand transport corporation buses, to sportspersons participating in national level competitions.
“The government will also promote private entities interested in developing sports facilities by offering assistance of 20 percent of the total cost of the project. The whole idea of the new sports policy is to attract people towards the fields from the virtual world of phones and computers,” he said.
Pandey, however, added that all the aforementioned provisions have been given in-principle approval by the CM. “The sports policy will be discussed in the next state cabinet meeting on October 14 before being approved.”
Pandey, who is also the school education minister of Uttarakhand, stated that the government will soon start the work of opening Atal Utkrishta Schools in the state under which children from rural areas will be able to study in English medium on the lines of CBSE-affiliated schools.
“The work for opening 190 such schools will soon be started in the state,” he said.
The Opposition Congress, meanwhile, reacted to the new sports policy and said they welcome it if it’s for the benefit of the state’s sportspersons, the party, however, raised a doubt on its implementation.
“It is good if they are coming up with a new sports policy to promote sports in the state. But the major question is of its proper implementation,” said Pritam Singh, Congress state president.
The Congress slammed the state government for coming up with the policy when the next assembly election is due in 2022. Singh said, “It is ridiculous that the policy has come up after three and a half years of their rule. Wonder if they were sleeping all this while. This will take a long time before being implemented.”