Govt changes cash award criteria for sportspersons

CHANDIGARH: Sportspersons who are domiciles of Haryana, but are unable to represent that the state at the national level due to employment or training in a Central organisation like Railways, Army and Air Force, will be eligible to receive cash awards for winning medals from now.

editorial@tribune.com

Sushil Manav

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 9

Sportspersons who are domiciles of Haryana, but are unable to represent that the state at the national level due to employment or training in a Central organisation like Railways, Army and Air Force, will be eligible to receive cash awards for winning medals from now.

However, a sportsperson who represents any state, other than Haryana, or Union Territory in any sport would be ineligible for cash awards, despite he or she being domicile of Haryana.

The Haryana Government has modified the eligibility and conditions for the cash award to medal winners under the Sports and Physical Fitness Policy-2015, thereby providing relaxations to those playing for the Central organisations due to their employment and sport training there.

A notification of the Sports and Youth Welfare Department issued by Principal Secretary Ashok Khemka on June 29 says that “A Haryana domicile/resident who is a medal winner in Olympics, Paralympics, 4-year World Championship (restricted to sports disciplines played in Olympics/ Paralympics), Asian Games, Para Asian Games, Youth Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Commonwealth Games (para athletes), and Youth Asian Games will be eligible for cash awards, if he is unable to represent Haryana in sports at national level due to employment or sports training in Central organisations like Railways, Army, Air Force etc.”

Sources say the modification will not only entitle players like Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Poonia and Manoj Kumar etc who play for Central organisations and are domiciles of the state, but will also clear ambiguities in the previous policy.

The earlier policy provided that the sportspersons must have represented the state in the national team in case of national level championships, and the sportsperson or parents of the sportsperson should be residents/domiciles of Haryana.

The earlier policy further said that cash awards would be given only to those sportspersons who had represented the state of Haryana in any sports.

The sources say that these two points can caused an ambiguity in deciding a sportsperson’s eligibility for the cash awards, as “has represented” can also be interpreted to mean that the eligible sportspersons should have represented Haryana at any time in the past.

The amendment also means that players like Saina Nehwal who got cash award of Rs 1 crore from the Haryana Government for her bronze in London Olympics will no longer be eligible for cash award in future.

Haryana gives cash awards of Rs 6 crore, Rs 4 crore and Rs 2.5 crore for gold, silver and bronze medal, respectively, in Olympics and Paralympics: Rs 3 crore, Rs 1.5 crore and Rs 75 lakh for the gold, silver and bronze, respectively in Asian Games/ Para Asian Games, Rs 1.5 crore, Rs 75 lakh and Rs 50 lakh for gold, silver and bronze, respectively in Commonwealth Games and so on.

A controversy had erupted in April this year when some players representing Central organisations announced to boycott award ceremony after the government announced that the amount received by them from their respective organisations would be deducted from award money.

Upon this, the government initially said that only those representing the state would be given cash award, but later, relented.

The present notification will set to rest all speculations about the eligibility of the sportspersons.

Cash awards

Haryana gives cash awards of Rs 6 crore, Rs 4 crore and Rs 2.5 crore for gold, silver and bronze medal, respectively, in Olympics and Paralympics in Olympics and Paralympics: Rs 3 crore, Rs 1.5 crore and Rs 75 lakh for the gold, silver and bronze, respectively.

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