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The Sports Ministry is planning to increase the prize money of the National Sports Awards and if such a proposal is approved then the player who gets the Khel Ratna will get Rs 25 lakh and the Arjuna awardee will get Rs 15 lakh. Currently, the player who gets the Khel Ratna award gets a cash prize of Rs 7.5 lakh and the Arjuna Award winner Rs five lakh.

It is learned that the ministry is busy finalizing the proposal, which Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju may make a formal announcement on August 29, the day of National Sports Day. National Sports Awards are given every year on this day. Sources in the Sports Ministry said, “The prize money of the National Sports Awards is going to increase significantly. A proposal has been prepared in this regard. The players had complained that the prize money for the sports awards is very low, after which the minister himself showed interest in it.

He said, “The proposal is still under consideration and if the government accepts it, then new prize money will be given from this year itself.” In this regard, however, when Sports Secretary Ravi Mittal was contacted, he said that he was not aware of any such proposal. When contacted, Mittal said, “I don’t know.” I do not know anything.’

It is also proposed to increase the prize money of Dhyanchand and Dronacharya awards from five lakh to 15 lakh rupees. Accordingly, the prize money for the regular Dronacharya Award will be increased to Rs 10 lakh. Right now it is five lakh rupees. If the proposal is approved and implemented before August 29, the government will have to spend a hefty amount on the awards this time, as the Sports Ministry Select Committee has recommended 62 names for various National Sports Awards.

Cricketer Rohit Sharma, wrestler Vinesh Phogat, women’s hockey player Rani Rampal, table tennis player Manika Batra and Rio Paralympic gold medalist high jump athlete Mariyappan Thangavelu have been named for the Khel Ratna Award, while 29 players for the Arjuna Award Name has been recommended. Apart from this, 13 coaches have been sent for Dronacharya Award, while 15 names have been sent for Dhyanchand Award. The final list will be revealed only after the approval from the Sports Minister. Earlier in 2009, the prize money for the National Sports Awards was increased.

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