KARACHI: Federal Minister for Inter-provincial Coordination (IPC) Dr Fehmida Mirza on Monday said that putting the entire onus of formulating the national sports policy on the federal government is not fair.

Talking to this correspondent, she said that post-18th Constitutional Amendment resources of sports have been transferred to the provinces.

“The sport ministry has been transferred to provinces with the resources and for coordination between the federation and provinces a committee has been constituted comprising representatives from the provinces to have better coordination,” Dr Fehmida, who took charge of the IPC ministry in 2018, said.

“The last national sports policy was formulated back in 2005. It is now the need of the hour that all provinces design their respective strategies and in the end a collective national sports policy is formed.

“In this regard along with provinces national sports bodies, athletes as well as media are stakeholders and their input is imperative for a uniformed [sports] policy,” Dr Fehmida added.

The IPC minister called for the appointment of a permanent director general at the Pakistan Sports Board along with the revamping of the important national institution.

To a question, Dr Fehmida said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had derived its policy and had also been seriously implementing the strategy.

“The feedback from Balochistan and Punjab is also heartening. However, the response from Sindh is not desirable; I hope they are sincerely working on their sports policy as well,” she added.

Dr Fehmida was of the opinion that a certain percentage of taxes at provincial level should be designated for sports activities.

“It is also important that the appointment of district sports officers should be made purely on merit and above politics. Competent officials at district levels will ensure the revival of sporting activities,” she maintained.

“Restructuring of the PSB is on the agenda to curb political appointments. The foremost priority is to place a permanent and competent DG to streamline the affairs on modern lines. However, court cases hinder the process whenever we advertise for this important slot,” Dr Fehmida explained.

On the recommendations of the task force, headed by Ehsan Mani, the IPC minister expressed dissatisfaction, adding that, in this regard, the feedback from sports federations was not encouraging either.

Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2021

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