Union Budget 2023-24: Sporting industry receives the highest allocation ever!
by EVENTFAQS Bureau Industry Watch | February 1, 2023 | Feature
Sports Budget 2023 Sporting Industry Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
Sporting Industry is regarded as one of the largest industries worldwide in terms of generating revenue and employment. It is a multi-billion dollar global industry propelled by enormous consumer demand. Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled the Union Budget for the fiscal year 2023-24.
In the announced budget, the sports sector received its biggest-ever allocation as it saw an increase of over Rs 300 crores from the previous financial year. The Finance Ministry has allocated Rs 3397.32 crore for the sports sector, which has come as a big boost ahead of this year's Asian Games and the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has received a hike of Rs 132.52 crore from last year as the apex body had witnessed Rs 7.41 crore budget cut in 2022-23. SAI has received funding of Rs 785.52 crore in this year's sports budget.
Meanwhile, Khelo India has the highest allocation in this year's sports budget with Rs 1045 crore.
The rest have been kept for the National Sports Federation Rs 325 crore, National Service Scheme Rs 325 crore, and National Sports Development Fund Rs 15 crore. The National Sports Federations (NSFs) have received an increased allocation of Rs 45 crore, from previous year’s revised budget of Rs 280 crore and will now get Rs 325 crore.
During the budget speech, Finance Minister mentioned Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics (AVGC) for its huge potential to provide employment to the youth. She further announced that the AVGC promotion task force would be set up to recommend ways to realise this potential, build domestic capacity for serving out markets and the global demands.
Further to the Union Budget 2023, below are the post- budget reactions by few of the industry experts on the Gaming and Esports sector which was recently recognised as a part of 'multisports event' category in India under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports:
Lokesh Suji, Director, Esports Federation of India & Vice President, Asian Esports Federation said, "As stated by our honourable finance minister Nirmala Sitaraman in today's Budget, mobile phone production in India has seen a significant rise in the past few years and that has undoubtedly been a game-changer for the Esports industry in the country. Contributing extensively to propelling the industry to unimaginable heights, the increasing availability of smartphones in India at affordable rates has not only expanded the player base by making gaming more accessible but has also attracted investment from companies, resulting in the development of existing as well as newer games. With the numbers further upscaling and 5G acting as a catalyst that fuels the industry's flourishment, we are going to witness monumental growth within the Esports sector in the coming years. As we are still awaiting clarity on the taxability for Esports, we are hopeful that the decisions will be in favour of the community and impact it positively."
Rohit N Jagasia, Founder and CEO, Revenant Esports said, "Even though the Budget announcement didn’t specifically bring out the matters of concern related to AVGC sector or the esports segment to be precise, we are glad that attention is given to bring in development that would positively impact our sector. The increased mobile phone production in India will directly impact on the growing interest in mobile gaming. India is a growing market for mobile gamers which will shape the Indian esports sector. Affordable mobile device and the increasing accessibility of gaming platforms have also contributed to the growing popularity of esports in India. This is expected to further drive the growth of the Indian esports industry in the coming years. We are also looking forward to the progress of 100 labs for apps development using 5G services will be set up in engineering institutions. Hopefully this could be the beginning of the 5G era in India. The announcement of removing minimum threshold of Rs 10,000 for TDS on online gaming and providing clarity on taxability is a big step forward, however most esports games, like ours, don't have any money withdrawing system so these are applicable for the online gaming sectors which are into Real Money Gaming."
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Acknowledging the Asian Games & 2024 Paris Olympics, the Finance Ministry allocated Rs 3062.60CR for the sporting industry, which was an increase of nearly Rs 300CR from the previous fiscal year.