ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has released the quarterly non-development budget of Rs242 million to the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) from the fresh budgetary allocations, but it is not yet clear whether this amount will be distributed among the sports federations in the next three months.
‘The News’ possesses the documents showing that the quarterly instalment of the non-development budget was credited to the PSB account on the last working day before Eidul Azha holidays.
Around Rs149 million of the amount has been set aside for operating expenditures that include quarterly instalments for sports federations. Unlike previous years when the federations used to get their quarterly share with the release of every budgetary allocation, in the last two years these sports bodies have been kept waiting for it till the last month. They only got part of their share in June after almost two years of wait.
“These are very tough times for sports and athletes. Now when the PSB has received its quarterly fund from the Ministry of Finance, PSB should release quarterly instalments to federations as soon as possible rather than waiting till June 2021,” an official of a federation said.
“What we got last month following two years of wait has already been diverted towards players. Because of COVID-19, things have gone from bad to worse for sports federations and athletes. We are deeply concerned about the well-being of athletes who are finding it hard to cope with the tough situation,” said the official.
“We request the government to not only release the quarterly grant but also put in some extra share and send the amount directly to the national players’ accounts to help them out before sports activities resume,” he said.
He called on the PSB to divert half of this Rs149 million for this noble cause. “If there are no sports activities how can the amount be adjusted in the next three months. Its best use is to give sports federations their due share and divert half of the remaining amount towards the well-being of the players and coaches who have been hit by COVID-19 rather than spending it on useless activities,” he said.
Besides the Rs149 million, more than Rs90 million has been set aside for payment of salaries and allowances to the PSB officers and staff.