Gill approves major boost in Welfare Fund for Sportspersons

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New Delhi, Jun 25 (UNI) In a major boost for sportsmen in the country, the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs has approved a substantial enhancement in the quantum of financial assistance for those living in indigent circumstances under the National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons.

The decision was taken by the General Committee, an apex body for managing the National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons, which met under the Chairmanship of Sports Minister MS Gill.

While taking the decision, the committee considered the fact that the last revision in the monetary ceiling limit for indigent circumstances was done way back in 1994.

Accordingly, it was decided that the limit of income from all sources for being eligible for assistance from the Fund be raised to Rs 2 lakh per annum from the existing limit of Rs 3000 per month.

The Committee also decided that the limit of lumpsum financial assistance be raised to Rs 5 lakh from the existing limit of Rs 1 lakh.

In case of a sportsperson sustaining a fatal injury during training for, or participation in an international competition he will receive Rs 2 lakh against the existing limit of Rs 40,000.

In case of sportsperson sustaining injury other than a fatal injury, that assistance in no case shall be less than Rs 10,000.

As regards the assistance for medical treatment of an outstanding sportsperson, the Committee decided that the limit of financial assistance be revised from the existing Rs 40,000 to Rs 2 lakh.

The Committee also decided that the rate of monthly pension be enhanced from the existing Rs 2,500 to Rs 10,000 in the case of an outstanding sportsperson who is permanently or indefinitely incapacitated for service or otherwise.

The rate of monthly pension in other cases has been enhanced from Rs 2,000 to Rs 8,000 provided that in either case the period for which the pension would be available (including life pension) shall be determined by the Committee.

The Committee further decided that the period of pension should in no case be less than 5 years.

In the case of existing pensioners, whose period of pension is less than 5 years, it would be automatically increased upto 5 years and for the residual period they would get pension at the revised rates.

There is also good news for the families of outstanding sportspersons living in poor financial conditions as the limit of lumpsum financial assistance for them has been enhanced to Rs 2 lakh from the existing Rs 40,000.

The definition of 'outstanding sportsperson' has also ungone a change.

According to the committee, ''an outstanding sportsperson means a person who has achieved a position within first 3 in individual events or within first 2 in team events in a recognised National Championship, or one who represents or has represented the country in an international competition at least twice.'' Earlier, an athlete had to finish the first eight in individual events or within the first four in team events in a recognised National Championship, or who represents or had to represent the country at least once to qualify as an outstanding sportsperson.

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