Punjab increases incentives for winners

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14

Punjab Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi today announced that Punjab’s sportspersons who win the national lifetime achievement award will be automatically eligible for the state’s highest sporting honour, the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Award.

He made the announcement after honouring the Punjab sportspersons who were recently decorated with the national sports awards. Hockey star Akashdeep Singh won the Arjuna Award, while Kuldeep Singh Bhullar (athletics), Ajit Singh (hockey), Manpreet Singh (kabaddi), Manjit Singh (rowing), Sukhwinder Singh (football) and Lakha Singh (boxing) were given the Major Dhyan Chand Award. Colonel Sarfaraz Singh was given the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award.

Entitlement of awards

Sodhi said the sports policy of 2018 will now cover winners of all national sports awards, including Dhyan Chand and Dronacharya Awards. He said those who win the lifetime achievement award (Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand Award) would be automatically considered eligible for the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Awards.

No cap on pensions

He also announced that there would be no annual income limit on the pension given to veteran sportspersons. “Whatever the annual income of the veteran player, he will continue to be entitled to a pension,” he said.

“The state government has also in principle decided to create separate quota for sportspersons in government jobs. We are continuing with 3% reservation in all jobs of state government, its boards, corporations, cooperative/statutory bodies and local authorities for graded sportspersons who are residents of Punjab and have represented the state at national level,” said Sodhi.

Job for pugilist Lakha

The Sports Minister announced that boxer Lakha Singh, an Asian Games medallist and an Olympian, at present eking out a livelihood by driving a taxi, will get a government job. “I have discussed the matter with the Director Sports and decided that Lakha Singh will be recruited in the Sports Department very soon,” said the Sports Minister.

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