ISLAMABAD: Showing his displeasure over the abject performance of various national sports bodies, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday decided to constitute a task force for the revamping of sports sector in the country.
The task force will be headed by Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ehsan Mani.
According to sources Prime Minister, while chairing a meeting on sports here at the Parliament House, expressed his annoyance that despite funds from the government and other national and international sources, the sports federations and sports organizations have failed to deliver.
Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Fehmida Mirza, IPC secretary Jamil Ahmed, Ehsan Mani and senior government officials were present during the meeting.
Pakistan could not win a single gold medal in the recently-held Asian Games in Indonesia where they won only four bronze medals while the hockey team failed to even make the podium.
According to an official statement released by Prime Minister office, the aim is to revamp the whole ambit of sports, from infrastructure to organisational structures and operating systems for introducing merit, transparency and performance criteria.
“It was also decided that the government organizations dealing with sports would also be revamped/re-structured as they too have failed to achieve the purpose for which they were created,” says the statement.
The statement further said that during the meeting the decision to constitute a task force on sports under Ehsan Mani was taken to review the performance of all sports bodies, analyse the efficacy and utilisation of funds received from various sources and suggest administrative reforms for promoting sports at national as well as regional level.
Jamil Ahmed briefed the Prime Minister about the functions of the IPC ministry and performance of various attached departments including the Pakistan Sports Board, Pakistan Cricket Board and some of the non-sports departments that falls under the administrative control of IPC.
While 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 the 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 the spree of poor performances resulting in pathetic outlook of Pakistan sports despite being provided heavy funds from national and international sources, including federal and provincial governments and enjoying tenures for well over a decade.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister also directed that as a first step enhancing sports grounds should be focused to provide opportunity to the youth to manifest their talent and excel in sports. Reviewing the progress of various youth-focussed programs, 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 Program.
The Prime Minister was also briefed about the performance of National Paralympic Committee and he appreciated the progress made so far by the National Paralympic Committee.
The Prime Minister directed that initiatives such as National Internship Program should be strengthened and greater opportunities should be created for the young graduated to gain practical training in various fields.
Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2018