NEW DELHI, Aug 20: The Sports Ministry is planning a massive hike in the prize money for the National Sports Awards, a proposal which, once approved, will lead to Khel Ratna awardees getting Rs 25 lakh while leaving the Arjuna winners richer by Rs 15 lakh.
Currently, the Khel Ratna comes with a cash prize of Rs 7.5 lakh, while the Arjuna awardees get Rs 5 lakh.
It has been learnt that the ministry is busy giving final touches to the proposal after which Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju will make a formal announcement by August 29 � the National Sports Day when the annual honours are given away every year.
�The prize money of National Sports Awards is set to be increased significantly. A proposal in this regard has already been made. The minister actively pushed for it after athletes complained that the prize money of sports awards is too less,� a Sports Ministry source told PTI.
�The proposal is still under consideration and if accepted by the government, the new cash rewards will be given from this year itself.�
However, when contacted Sports Secretary Ravi Mittal, said he was not aware of any such development.
�I am not aware. I don�t know anything,� Mittal said when reached for a comment.
The prize money for Dhyan Chand and Dronacharya (Lifetime) awards will also be increased from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 15 lakh. � PTI