Barnala: Sports Minister Jitendra Singh today inaugurated the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Extension Centre here at the S D College Campus and also laid the foundation stone for synthetic athletic track at Sangrur.
Welcoming the Union Minister, Sangrur MP Vijay Inder Singla said specialised SAI set up here would give a boost to young talents.
"If the country has to win more medals -- first and foremost we need to change the attitude of the society, which places more emphasis on academics and economic success," said the Congress MP.
"Educational courses and skilled training in 'Sports Management' field can create new employment opportunities," he added.
Singla requested Jitendra to play a leading role in setting up such institutes in every state and for establishing a Sports University with a strategic tie-up between the Ministry of Defence & Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in his constituency.
"Our expenditure in sports is meager (2 paisa per person per day -- of both Central & State Govts put together) and it is time that, in addition to the efforts already being made through schemes like PYKKA and USIS, Public-Private partnerships are established to take sports in India to the next level," said Singla.
He also thanked Jitendra for agreeing to provide basketball facilities (in addition to boxing & kabaddi) here at SAI Extension Centre on his last minute request.
Singla suggested that private investment in setting up specified sports infrastructure should be encouraged by giving Income Tax benefits (as is done for investments made by private sector in R & D sector).
"Moreover, expenditure made for capacity building or nurturing young sports talent should qualify as eligible expenditure under CSR activities," he insisted.
At Sangrur, Rs 6.87 crore project for laying a synthetic athletic track at the War Heroes Stadium is being funded under Urban Sports Infrastructure Scheme (Rs 5.5 crore) of Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and balance contribution of Rs 1.37 crore is being made from his MPLAD (Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme) fund.
NBCC (National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd) is the implementing agency for executing this project and Rs three crore has already been released by the central government to Punjab authorities.