Sports Ministry allegedly holding back funds from national federationsGovernment urged to focus on preparation of the teams for 2010 Commonwealth Games
NEW DELHI: The President of the Archery Association of India (AAI), V.K. Malhotra, on Saturday criticised the Union Sports Ministry for holding back funds from national federations even after approving long-term development plans.
He urged the Union Government to also focus on the preparation of the teams for the 2010 Commonwealth Games rather than concentrate efforts towards the creation of infrastructure in Delhi.
"Everyday, you hear of the Delhi Government, the Sports Authority (of India) or the Centre announcing plans worth hundreds of crores (for 2010 Commonwealth Games), but when sportspersons approach the Government there is a negative reaction," Mr. Malhotra said. He said that for the past six months, the Sports Ministry had not been clearing grants meant for exposure trips of teams abroad, demanding records for the past several years instead of being satisfied with the current "utilisation" documents. He claimed that the Government owed the AAI around Rs. 40 lakh under this head. The federation had to raise bank loans to meet the financial requirements.
Mr. Malhotra said that the Government should spend at least 10 per cent of the total amount required for hosting the Commonwealth Games towards the preparation of various Indian teams.
While expressing some disappointment at the Indian archery team finishing with just one bronze (men's team) against a few expected, Mr. Malhotra said that since India had never won a medal in the Asian Games it was not a poor performance after all.
The emphasis from now on would be in preparing for the Beijing Olympic Games. Delhi would be hosting the 10th Junior and fourth Cadet World championships in October 2008 and the juniors would then be getting ready to step into the senior ranks for the 2010 Commonwealth Games also, Mr. Malhotra said. He appreciated the efforts of the SAI in starting archery training centres across the country.