The Congress government is all set to announce its youth policy. The process of drafting it is progressing, said K. Abhayachandra, Minister of State for Youth Services and Fisheries.

Speaking to presspersons on Friday, he said the government had not taken cognisance of the draft of the policy prepared by the previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government.

Department of Youth Services was planning to develop a velodrome in Bijapur at an estimated cost of Rs. 5 crore. As many as 20 national cycling champions from the State would be given advanced sports bicycles costing Rs.1.5 lakh each. Similarly, 30 State cycling champions would get cycles costing Rs. 75,000 each, he said. Efforts would be made to promote judo and wrestling in Belgaum district. Hostel facilities would be created under sports quota for postgraduate students, he said.

When asked about the regularisation of sports coaches, an issue that has been pending before the government, Mr. Abhayachandra said the government was planning to hike their salaries first and services of 90 sports coaches would be regularised in the next phase. On whether he would seek more allocation for his department in the budget, the Minister said he had appealed to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah against cutting the budgetary allocation. “We have appealed for waiver of 6 per cent cess being levied on ice plants, which is the backbone of fisheries in the State,” he said.

The government is also planning against issuing new licences to trawler boats in coastal part of the State, in view of damage being done to the fish resources, he said.

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