Govt fails to bring new policies and program in sports

Published On: May 20, 2023 08:04 PM NPT By: Anil Malla Thakuri

KATHMANDU, May 20: The policies and programs announced by the Government of Nepal this year have nothing substantial to address the existing problems faced by the sports sector and to advance the long-term plans.

President Ram Chandra Paudel presented the policies and programs for the upcoming fiscal year at a joint meeting of the Federal Parliament on Friday.

Policies and programs are introduced at least one week before the new budget is announced every year.

Based on these policies and programs, the government presents a new budget. 

The sports fraternity was hopeful of better plans in the budget because of the keen  interest shown by incumbent Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Daha. PM Dahal also used to say during sports program that the current sports budget is insufficient and some new policy changes are needed for the sustainable development of the sports sector in Nepal. 

The plans and basis for sports development should have been decided in the policies and programs presented by the government on Friday. However, the policies and programs that will be introduced under the new budget did not incorporate the pledges made by PM Dahal.

Four main issues have been addressed by the policies and programs submitted in the Federal Parliament on Friday. Most of the subjects which were previously included by the government have been repeated. This time too, it is mentioned in the program that sports teachers will be arranged in every school. The annual sports calendar will be prepared and the inter-municipality and state-level competitions will be organized and the concept of one ward, one playground, one municipality, one covered hall has been repeated in the policies and programs this time.

Similarly, there is a provision in the National Sports Development Act 2077 BS to encourage and reward athletes who win medals in international sports competitions. This time, the government has mentioned that it will increase the participation of local and federal governments for the sustainable management of sports infrastructures, and encourage the construction of sports infrastructures in public-private partnerships that will promote the development and expansion of sports tourism.

Within the next two years, Kirtipur and Mulpani cricket stadiums will be upgraded to host international-level tournaments. Similarly, Bharatpur Cricket Stadium or Gautam Buddha International Cricket Stadium in Chitwan, Phapla Cricket Ground in Kailali, Dasharath Chand Cricket Stadium in Baitadi and Biratnagar Cricket Stadium in Morang will also be upgraded as per the  policies and programs.

Member Secretary of the National Sports Council (NSC) Tanka Lal Ghising has been saying in various programs that the government’s plans include implementation of sports insurance, investment in sports under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of the private sector and inclusion of sports subjects in the compulsory curriculum from classes 6 to 12. However, those issues were not mentioned in the government’s policies and programs. Nepali sportsmen have been taking this plan of NSC with great interest.

However, NSC Member Secretary Ghising said that the issues mentioned in the policies and programs are also important and expressed his belief that his plan will be implemented soon. 

“It is true that I have been pressing for sports insurance and CSR. However, everything is not possible at once. The plans that I have mentioned will also go ahead," Ghising said. 

According to the constitutional provision, the budget should be announced on May 29. After presenting the policies and programs for the next fiscal year, the government will announce the new budget allocated for the next fiscal year. In the budget to be presented in the Parliament on May 29, sources have said that a budget ceiling of Rs 1.59 billion has been set for sports.

Earlier, the budget ceiling of Rs 2.59 billion was set for sports. Later, a separate budget of Rs 600 million was allocated for the Ninth National Games. NSC Board member Anjan Dhamala expressed his belief that the current government has been providing additional funds for sports projects when necessary, so the budget ceiling set for sports will not put any restrictions on sports development.


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