Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Punjab Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi today said that the Punjab government would enhance the budget for Sports from the coming fiscal to give a major fillip to the sporting activity on one hand and restoring the pristine glory of state in this field on the other.Interacting with the media persons here today at the local Circuit House, the Minister said that the annual budget of the state government for Sports was Rs 145 crore, which needs to be enhanced a lot. Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi said that he had raised the matter of giving a hike in the budget of sports with the Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, who has given his kind consent for it in the coming annual budget. He said that the state government was committed for giving a major push to sports activity in the state for which even the private entrepreneurs, corporate houses and business tycoons would also be roped in for funding.Replying to another query, the Minister said that the New Sports Policy for the sports would be introduced very soon. He said that the upcoming sports policy would focus on securing livelihood for the players, who brought laurels for the state and country in the field of sports. Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi further said that the sports policy would also ensure timely promotions to the players inducted in government service besides focusing on internal and international coaching for the coaches.
The Minister said that new Sports policy would cut all the red tappism and ensure speedy deliverance on the matters concerning the sports and sportspersons. He said that besides this the focus would be to tap the hidden potential of the Punjabi youth by catching them young and grooming for the sports. Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi said that Punjab has no dearth of sporting talent and the state government would tap it to full extent. Dwelling on another issue, the Minister said that the state government has fulfilled its promise of setting up Sports University in Punjab. He said that the land for this dream project of the Chief Minister has been identified in Patiala and the classes in this university would start soon. Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi said that the university would focus on psychology, sports injury and diets, training of players and coaches besides other fields to produce ace sportspersons from the state.The Minister further said that the state government would revive the sports colleges and physical education institutes across the state. He said that these colleges would be affiliated with the upcoming Sports University at Patiala for better training and education. Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi also announced that the state government would also revitalize the traditional sports in Punjab.
The Minister also said that the state government was ever ready to extend a helping hand to all the players who were facing any sort of problem in terms of health or any other. He called upon the Sportsmen to directly contact the department in case of any need so that their grievance could be redressed promptly. Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi further revealed that he had recently cleared the file pertaining to bestowing Maharaja Ranjit Singh Award to many players in the state.The Minister further announced that the local Burlton park would be developed on modern lines with state of art equipment and infrastructure. Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi further said that he would take up the matter of improving the standard of training in National Institute of Sports with the Government of India. He said that it was unfortunate that training was not up to mark in this premier institute of sports in the region.Earlier, the Minister was given Guard of honor by the district administration at the circuit house. Later he held detailed meeting with the officers of the district administration regarding the various projects in the city.Prominent amongst others present on the occasion included Deputy Commissioner Mr. Varinder Kumar Sharma, Commissioner of Police Mr. Praveen Kumar Sinha, Commissioner Municipal Corporation Mr. Diperva Lakra, Additional Deputy Commissioner Mr. Jitendra Jorwal, Chief Executive Officer Smart City Mr. Vishesh Sarangal, Deputy Commissioner of Police Mr. Gurmeet Singh, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Mr. Mandeep Singh and others.