Reaction on budget: Relatively positive: Member Secretary

Kathmandu, July 13:

Member Secretary of National Sports Council, Jeevan Ram Shrestha today said the budget allocated for sports was comparatively positive.

The government on Thursday allocated Rs 189.5 million for sports, while the NSC had demanded a budget of Rs 640 million. “The amount allocated is very low compared to what we demanded, but the government has addressed the NSC’s policy which is a positive note for us,” said Shrestha.

Of the total budget allocated for sports, 150 million is under general expenditure and Rs 30 million under development expenditure. The budget, presented by Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat, also exempted the tax of Rs two million for All Nepal Football Association’s best player of the national league award (car) and has allocated Rs five million for the construction of a stadium in Jhapa Baijanathpur VDC in Morang district.

“The government’s decision to exempt taxes for private sector that invest more than Rs one million in sponsorship would help flourish sports and the decision to involve private sector is praiseworthy,” added Shrestha. He also thanked the government for backing NSC’s policy to give priority to school sports.

Shrestha, however, was not happy with the government’s decision to give priority to three disciplines — cricket, taekwondo and football.

“I have not received the detailed plans and policies about these three sports as yet, but I know that the government has not allocated any special budget for that. We have to develop all the sports disciplines without being biased,” he said.