Cornered Maken announces Rs.1.5 lakh for each Indian hockey team player
New Delhi, Sep 14 (ANI): With controversy surrounding the prize money given to the Indian hockey team for winning the Asian Champions Trophy gained momentum, a cornered Sports Minister Ajay Maken on Wednesday clarified that players of the winning side will automatically get a cash reward of Rs.1.5 lakh each.
"Today, I have called all of you to clarify a small thing that I think has unnecessarily snowballed into a big controversy. There is a government scheme of the Sports Ministry, which provides for cash awards to various medal winners in international events. And this is a scheme, which is there in existence even before I took over as Sports Minister. And, a number of times in Parliament, I have made a mention of this scheme," Maken told media persons here.
Maken said the government has distributed 48.14 crore rupees in cash awards to different players who have won gold, silver or bronze in international events through this scheme
"And in the past three years, through this scheme, we have distributed 48.14 crore rupees cash awards to different players who have won gold, silver or bronze in international events. And this 48.14 crore rupees does not include cricket," he added.
Maken said that there are four different categories under this scheme on the basis of which the cash awards are given to different playersIn this scheme, we have four different categories on the basis of which the cash awards are given to different players. The first is Asian and Commonwealth Games, then the Olympic Games, World Championship and the fourth one is Asian and Commonwealth Championship. Our hockey team, which has made all of us proud after winning the Asian Championship, falls under the fourth category," said Maken.
Maken said the Indian hockey team has already won Rs.1.5 lakh each under this scheme.
"And for all these categories, we have different sets of awards. Like for the Olympic Games, an individual winning a gold medal gets Rs.50 lakh, and a team winning a gold medal gets Rs.25 lakh for each player. Similarly for Asian and Commonwealth Games, an individual winning a gold medal gets Rs.20 lakh, and anyone in the team gets Rs.10 lakh. Similarly for the World Championship, the individual gold medallist gets Rs.10 lakh and team individuals get Rs.5 lakh when the team wins," said Maken.
"Similarly in this case, we already have in place a scheme by way of which in Asian and Commonwealth Championship, which our present hockey team has most recently won. We already have a scheme for which an individual winning a gold medal gets Rs.3 lakh and a team if it wins any individual of the team gets Rs.1.5 lakh each. So, through this scheme automatically, our team, which has won the Asian Championship, got Rs.1.5 lakh each per player," he added.
The Government of Punjab had earlier in the day announced a cash award of Rs.25 lakh for members of the victorious Indian hockey team.
The Indian hockey team had earlier rejected Hockey India's cash reward, saying the paltry amount of Rs.25,000 each was not proper recognition of their achievement.
The players were offered the reward during a felicitation ceremony at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium last evening, but they outrightly rejected it. The team felt insulted on being offered the meagre cash reward.
India defeated Pakistan 4-2 in the Asian Champions Trophy finals on Sunday in Ordos, China. (ANI)
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