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'Recognising sports as an industry key for development'

Posted on Feb 25 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, Feb 25 : Recognising sports as an industry will be key to the development of sports in India, says a report by KPMG and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The report identifies key issues in the sports ecosystem and explores measures to develop a private-investment led sporting scenario in the country - one that helps imbibe a sporting culture and achieve the country's vision of excellence in sports.

"The proposed National Sports Development Bill, 2013, is aimed at transforming the sports ecosystem in the country by enlisting the support from various stakeholders. The government has already initiated interface with the International Olympics Committee (IOC) and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) in this regard to bring them on board and to take their inputs while formulating the bill," said Ajit Sharan, secretary, ministry of youth affairs and sports.

The report states that resource scarcity in India makes it difficult for the government to attain the above objectives, and calls for collaborative efforts of both the government and private sector towards strengthening the sports ecosystem.

The report added that sports not only boost the youth and instil pride among citizens, but also facilitate social and economic development of a nation.

Atul Singh, chairman of CII National Committee on Sports and Group President (Asia) of the Coca Cola Company, highlighted industry's role of "going beyond sponsorships and CSR activity and the need for a policy shift to recognize sports as an industry".

"This would help actualize the India@75 vision for broad-basing sports in India, and promote excellence in sports, by promoting infrastructure development, providing technical support for athletes, as well as grooming talented sportspersons," he said.

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