New Delhi: The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Sunday urged Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to treat sports as a priority area while formulating the budget for 2012-13 beginning April 1.
"The world over, countries are spending huge amounts of money to boost and develop sports and its infrastructure. In India, it has yet not been given the importance it deserves. The funds allotted for sports in the budget are always very small and do no justice to the mammoth sports fraternity spanning all over the country," IOA acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra wrote in a letter to Mukherjee.
"I will also request you to put sports in a priority category so that in future sports federations are not starved of the funds for training, competitions and sending teams abroad."
Malhotra acknowledged government's help in preparing the athletes for the Olympics but said it needed to adopt a long-term approach.
"While IOA appreciates government's financial support for the Olympic Games, I will like it to become broad-based keeping in view other multi-discipline international events like the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and World Championships."