ISLAMABAD: To prevent the lapse of budget funds allocated for the fiscal year 2019-20, the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) with the approval of Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) has released Rs25 million to 16 sports federations, majority of them receiving the normal grant after three years of wait.
Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) got Rs1.5 million. Usually, the PHF gets around Rs3.5 million as annual grant, so the federation should have been given Rs10.5 million after three years.
“We were expecting release of the entire pending grant. Even a single penny from the government under any head was not released during this period,” a PHF official said.
Pakistan Tennis Federation and Pakistan Squash Federation were also given Rs1.5 million each. Usually these federations get around Rs3 million annually.
However, the Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP), Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association, Pakistan Kabaddi Federation, National Rifle Association of Pakistan received Rs2 million each.
Bodybuilding, judo and badminton federations were given Rs1.5 million each. And Rs1 million each was approved for wrestling, weightlifting, taekwondo, netball and karate federations.
The Pakistan Volleyball Federation (PVF) has been one of the three federations which had been given their usual amounts during the last two years. Even then the PVF succeeded in getting another Rs3 million.
Surprisingly, not a single penny was granted to the relatively more active federations like those of boxing, baseball, swimming and handball. The national handball team made the country proud by winning gold at the South Asian Games held in Nepal.
Meanwhile, the PSB asked all the federations to utilise the grant for welfare of the players and not spend it on administrative matters. “The federations should spend the money for players’ training and coaching,” the Board said.
The following is the breakup of the grants: Athletics Federation of Pakistan Rs2 million; Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association Rs2 million; Pakistan Bodybuilding Federation Rs1.5 million; Pakistan Kabaddi Federation Rs2 million; Pakistan Karate Federation Rs1 million; National Rifle Association of Pakistan Rs2 million; Pakistan Netball Federation Rs1 million; Pakistan Squash Federation Rs1.5 million; Pakistan Taekwondo Federation Rs1 million; Pakistan Tennis Federation Rs1.5 million; Pakistan Weightlifting Federation Rs1 million; Pakistan Wrestling Federation Rs1 million; Pakistan Hockey Federation Rs1.5 million; Pakistan Judo Federation Rs1.5 million; Pakistan Badminton Federation Rs1.5 million; and Pakistan Volleyball Federation Rs3 million.
All the federations have been asked to submit audit report of the expenditure.
The PSB said that it also spent Rs71 million for the participation of Pakistan’s contingent in the 13th South Asian Games.
Federal Minister for IPC Dr Fehmida Mirza also distributed cash prizes worth Rs111.50 million among the medal-winners of the South Asian Games under the 2001 Cash Incentive Award Policy.
Moreover, Rs5 million from Pakistan Sports Foundation Relief Fund was released to 55 old sportspersons to support them during the Covid-19 lockdown.