By Sohail Ali

LAHORE, Jun 15 (APP):Punjab Government laying special focus on the promotion of sports and giving importance to Youth Affairs has earmarked Rs. 2090 million in the budget 2020-21.
The Punjab Government under its vision has attached greater importance to Youth affairs and sports development and creation of infrastructure in budget 2020-21.
The vision is promotion of healthy activities throughout the province so as to engage youth and bring out the under explored talent, besides creating excellent sports/ recreational opportunities to the masses.
Out of allocated amount of Rs. 2090 million for sports and youth affairs in the annual budget 2020-21, funds amounting to Rs. 1,733.000 million have been proposed for ongoing schemes and Rs. 357 million for new schemes.
Following are the major targets and new initiatives for the fiscal year 2020-21:
Construction of 13 non-tehsil sports complexes in Punjab, establishment of soft sports facilities on Auqaf/ Liquidation Board land in Punjab, provision of sports centres in DHO’s, building of state of the art sports arena ,one each at Sargodha, Multan, Sahiwal, Rawalpindi and Chiniot, establishment of new sports facilities in Punjab.

In the annual budget 2020-21, Rs. 1,392.891 million have been allocated for regular schemes, Rs. 138.506 million for play fields / cricket grounds, Rs 66.884 million for establishment of sports complex, Rs 17.169 million for establishment of stadiums, Rs 95.002 million for gymnasiums, and Rs 22.548 million for local development program.

For new schemes Rs 357.000 million have been set out for regular projects.

According to the vision, the Punjab Government is committed to promote healthy and beneficial activities for youth. Development of a network of sports facilities throughout the Punjab which should be accessible to all is the priority area. The Government also believes that sports and youth development have direct relevance to sustainable development envisaged in 2030 agenda. For the year 2019-20 an amount of Rs 4000 million was allocated. The total number of schemes were 200, out of which 174 were ongoing , 26 new schemes. Overall the progress of road sector was 90 percent utilization against released amount.
Major achievements of fiscal years 20-21 were construction of state of art first exclusive hockey stadium at Rawalpindi, construction of swimming pool at Gujranwala, construction of Gojra hockey stadium, holding of athletics training camp for men and women at Punjab stadium, holding of World Kabaddi Cup 2020 at Lahore, Faisalabad and Gujrat.