Imran Khan gives direction for formation of ‘task force’ on sports

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday chaired a briefing on Inter-Provincial Coordination Ministry at the Prime Minister’s Office. IPC Minister Fehmida Mirza, IPC Secretary Jamil Ahmed, Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ehsan Mani and senior government officials were present during the meeting. IPC Secretary Jamil Ahmed briefed the Prime Minister about the functions of the ministry and performance of various attached departments including Pakistan Sports Board, Pakistan Cricket Board, Inter Board Committee of Chairman, Pakistan Veterinary Medical Council, National Academy of Performing Arts and National Internship Programme. Discussing the budgetary allocations of the ministry and various development schemes for promoting sports in the country, the Prime Minister was informed that various important schemes worth billions of rupees were left incomplete since 2008 with little progress on physical infrastructure.

The Prime Minister directed that all pending schemes should be reviewed in order to ascertain their utility and reasons for their incompletion. Discussing the performance of various sports federations and associations, it was decided to take on the plethora of sports federations/associations for non-performance resulting in a pathetic outlook of Pakistan sports despite getting funding from various national and international sources, including federal and provincial governments. The aim is to revamp the whole ambit of sports, from infrastructure to organizational structures and operating systems, for introducing merit, transparency and performance criteria so that Pakistan, a nation of over 200 million with 60 percent population below 30 years, could rule the sports world.

It was also decided that the government organisations dealing with sports would also be revamped and/or re-structured as they too have failed to achieve the purpose for which they were created. It was decided during the meeting to constitute a Task Force on sports, under Mani, to review the performance of all sports bodies, analyse the efficacy and utilization of various funds received from various sources and suggest administrative reforms for promoting sports at national as well as regional level.

The Prime Minister directed that the first step should be to improve sports grounds in order to provide opportunity to the youth to manifest their talent and excel in sports. Reviewing the progress of various youth-focussed programmes, it was informed that a liability of over Rs1 billion was pending in lieu of payment of stipend to the interns under the National Internship Programme. The Prime Minister directed that initiatives such as National Internship Program should be strengthened and greater opportunities should be provided to the young graduates to help them gain practical training in various fields. The Prime Minister was also briefed about the performance of National Paralympic Committee. He appreciated the progress made so far by the National Paralympic Committee.

Published in Daily Times, September 12th 2018.