PM assures every possible support to sports sector


Kathmandu, Apr. 4: Hailing the achievements of Nepalis in different sports on the global stage, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ assured that the government would prioritise the development of sports infrastructure and culture across the country. 

PM Prachanda made the assurance while addressing the 60th anniversary of the National Sports Council (NSC) at the capital city of Kathmandu on Wednesday.

“The government will increase the budget ceiling for sports in the upcoming fiscal year. Sports and art are two sectors that should be unaffected by politics,” said PM Prachanda.

PM Prachanda, who is also the Patron of the NSC, added, “I am proud of the activities being performed by the NSC. The government will support the council and the ministry to develop the sports sector.”

Likewise, PM Prachanda informed that the government will be signing different agreements under different subjects with Qatar when the latter’s King visits Nepal in the upcoming days. 

“It will be a historical achievement for Nepal,” PM Prachanda said.

As the Prime Minister revealed the visit of Qatar’s King in a sports event, the sports community has expected Nepal and Qatar to coordinate in developing Nepal’s sports sector as well. Moreover, Qatar has been investing in Nepal’s football sector. 

Players awarded

Meanwhile, PM Prachanda awarded the five best players on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the NSC. Deepak Adhikari (athlete) and Sushma Tamang (boxer) were awarded as the ‘Best Male Player (senior)’ and ‘Best Female Player (senior)’ respectively. They bagged an award as well as a purse of Rs. 100,000 each. 

Likewise, Bhim Bahadur Kumal (swimmer) was awarded the ‘Best Para Athlete’ with a purse of Rs. 50,000. Arjun Kumal (cricketer) and Duana Lama (swimmer) were adjudged the best male and female players in the junior category respectively.

The NSC also awarded Madhyabindu Municipality of Nawalpur district as the ‘Best Local Level’ for investing in the sports sector. Similarly, Sabina Karki of Kantipur TV and Durga Nath Subedi of Nepal Television were awarded with the ‘Sports Journalism’ awards.

The Council also honoured volleyball coach Uma Devi Gurung, cricket coach Manjur Alam Khan and wrestling coach Mumtaj Ali Idrishi as the best council-service award alongside senior administrative officers Sharada Dahal, Sunil Kumar Dahal and Bhojananda Rai.

As the Prime Minister assured to increase budget in the sports sector, Minister for Youth and Sports Biraj Bhakta Shrestha applauded the decision and informed, “If the sports sector receives more budget, we could fulfil the expectations of the public.”

“As per the PM’s directive, the ministry is also trying to reimburse the prize money for the athletes at the earliest,” said Minister Shrestha, adding, “We need to develop sports academically and scientifically as well. Let us all promise to make a major positive change in the sports sector before we celebrate NSC’s 61st anniversary next year.”

Concluding the programme, NSC’s member-secretary praised the government’s assurances towards sports. He added, “We plan to win at least one gold medal alongside a tally of medals in double figures in the 20th Asian Games. Sports can be a source of living and the council and government are trying to make it practical in Nepal.”

Ghising said, “We should create a society where families encourage children towards sports. There is money in sports. For example, if a Nepali wins a gold in the Olympics, the government will provide Rs. 13 million in cash.”

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