The Government setup the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) in 1998 to promote sports in the country. In the 18 years since its inception, the fund could raise only Rs 158 crore out of which 50 crore was donated by BCCI.
The data on the contributions to the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) paints a sorry picture of sports promotion in the country. In the 18 years since its inception, the NSDF has raised a meager Rs 157.88 crore.
The NSDF was setup in 1998 to promote sports and games in the country. The fund was envisaged to provide financial support to sportspersons, sports academies etc. The fund receives donations from various bodies such as Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), State Governments and other Private organizations. Government of India would provide a matching grant in addition to the donations made by various entities.
50 out of the 158 crore was donated by BCCI
Between 1998-99 and 2015-16 (up to 30th June 2015), a total of 157.88 crore rupees was raised by the NSDF. Rs 96.46 crore was the donated amount while Rs 61.42 crore was the matching contribution by the Government of India. The greatest amount was raised in 2008-09 when the BCCI donated Rs 35 crore. The BCCI also donated Rs 15 crore in 2007-08 taking its total contribution amount to Rs 50 crore, or more than 30% of the total amount raised. Jaypee Sports International Limited donated a total of Rs 30 crore. India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL) donated Rs 10 crore towards the TOP scheme for the Rio Olympics. State Government of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh & Haryana donated crore rupees each. PSUs donated very little amounts.
Parliamentary Standing Committee slams the performance of NSDF
In a scathing report, the department related standing committee on Human Resource Development slammed the performance of the NSDF. In its 270th report submitted in August 2015, the committee said, ‘since its inception adequate funds could not be collected which indicates that the Department did not make sincere efforts to approach the Corporate and the Public sector for contribution to the NSDF.’
The Committee concluded that the situation has not improved over the years and the NSDF corpus was still scarce. It also observed that not many public and private organizations are coming forward to contribute to the Fund and there is a lot of overlapping in promotion of sports as respective organizations are following their own pattern so far as development of sports is concerned.
The committee observed that barring BCCI & JP Industries, only small amounts of donations were made by various private and government organizations. The committee also mentioned that BCCI was denied tax exemption for their contribution and that the department of revenue should reverse its decision of denying tax exemption.
Most PSUs not even aware of the existence of NSDF
The committee noted that most PSUs were not even aware of the existence of the NSDF and were doing things on their own for the promotion of sports in the country. Coal India Limited, for instance has the Coal India Sports Promotion Association (CISPA) for promotion of sports to which Coal India and its subsidiaries have contributed 11.54 crore and 12.33 crore in 2014-15 and 2015-16 respectively.
Similarly Damodar Valley Corporation was doing their own bit under CSR for promotion of sports in the rural areas. SBI chairman also told the committee that SBI did not make any specific contribution to the NSDF. ONGC also mentioned that funds for sports promotion are met from their CSR fund, but have not made any specific contribution to the NSDF.
No co-ordination between organizations
Based on its discussions with various PSUs, the committee felt that they were not even aware of the existence of NSDF and were linking their sports promotion activities with CSR activities. The Committee also found that the Banks and PSUs were spending crores of rupees every year independently in the name of sports mainly for entertainment purposes or for their commercial publicity in the form of giving sponsorship to tournaments, annual meets, smaller cash awards at local levels etc. The committee clearly saw a lack of co-ordination amongst the PSUs in this regard. The committee felt that such activities will not help develop sports in the country and that a greater part of such funds if diverted to NSDF would produce better results.
NSDF should be publicized and be included in Schedule VII of the Companies Act
The committee felt that the NSDF should be well publicized among PSUs and other organizations by publishing a booklet on NSDF, its mandate, functions, achievements etc. The committee also felt that the NSDF should be included in Schedule VII of the companies act so that PSUs and private companies start contributing to the NSDF from their CSR funds. The committee felt that unless these steps are taken, the NSDF wouldn’t be able to attract donations from various organizations.
Featured Image: Sports