Written by Vinay Siwach | New Delhi | Updated: June 8, 2018 2:41:34 pm
Haryana government’s new notification asks sportspersons to deposit one-third of the income earned by them from professional sports or commercial endorsements to the state.
Haryana has been a pioneer in offering government jobs to its meritorious sportspersons and awarding prize money for their achievements. But in a new notification dated April 30 from the Sports and Youth Affairs Department, the state has asked its sportspersons to “deposit one-third of the income earned by them from professional sports or commercial endorsements with the Haryana State Sports Council”.
The step, according to the state government, has been taken for the development of sports in Haryana. The notification is applicable to any sportsperson employed with any department of the state government and is participating in professional sports or commercial endorsements.
The notification is likely to affect a number of sportspersons in Haryana, including former boxers Akhil Kumar, Jitender Kumar, amateur boxers Vikas Yadav and Manoj Kumar. Wrestlers like Geeta Phogat, Yogeshwar Dutt and Mausam Khatri will also be affected. Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik will also be affected by the order.
“God save us from such officials, who are taking senseless decisions like this. Their contribution to development of sports in Haryana has been zero but I am sure, they will play a big role in the decline of sports in the state,” Dutt tweeted. “Now, athletes will move to other states and these officials will be responsible for this.”
Three years ago, boxer Vijender Singh’s decision to turn professional had caused a furore in Haryana as he was asked to give up his job with Haryana Police. Though he was later allowed to keep his job and compete professionally, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had issued notice to the Haryana government saying that it was against the sports policy of the state.
Principal Secretary of Sports and Youths Affairs Department of Haryana Ashok Khemka said that the condition does not apply to all sportspersons from Haryana, and only to those employed with the Haryana government.
“Any athlete, who is employed with Haryana government and also wants to be play professionally, falls under the category and we are asking only one-third of the income from the professional contract. It’s a concession that we have given to players who want to turn professionals,” Khemka told IndianExpress.com.
The notification also has a second condition which states, “in case the sportsperson is treated on duty with the prior approval of the competent authority while taking part in professional sports or commercial endorsements, the full income earned by the sportsperson on this account will be deposited with the Haryana State Sports Council.”