ISLAMABAD: A senate committee on Wednesday decided to invite Talha Talib and Arshad Nadeem, who failed to win medals during the recent Tokyo Olympics but still performed well.
The Senate Standing Committee on Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC), headed by Senator Mian Raza Rabbani, discussed Pakistan’s dismal performance at the Games.
The committee, however, appreciated the performance of Talha and Arshad, while deciding to honour them in the next meeting. It also decided to invite the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) for a briefing on the functioning of the body and performance in Tokyo.
The committee also directed the Ministry of IPC to share the draft National Sports Policy for an input, and that in-camera meeting shall be conducted to review and discuss the policy in detail.
The committee decided that in the next meeting a sub-committee shall be constituted and mandated to invite major sports organisations, including the POA, in order to understand their working and functions as well as to review their constitution under which these have been established.
The sub-committee shall submit its report to the main committee.
Earlier, Director General of the Pakistan Sports Board retired Colonel Asif Zaman apprised the committee on the composition and functions of the board. The committee was informed that previously the panel comprised of 29 members, which have now been reduced to 11 members, while an executive committee has five members.
Senator Rana Maqbool raised the question regarding the composition of the board members and their selection criteria.
IPC minister Fehmida Mirza apprised the committee that the board members were selected based on their association and familiarity with the sports keeping in view the expertise required to excel in the field with representations from the federal bodies, POA, PSB, HEC and NESPAK etc keeping in view the expertise required to excel in the field.
The minister underlined that the PSB was restructured, and only relevant departments were attached to it, especially the Pakistan Football Federation, Athletic Federation of Pakistan and the Services Sports Board.
The IPC minister apprised the committee that the PSB is a state-of-the-art entity and that the Chinese technologist designed its infrastructure. However, the minister lamented the pathetic condition of the PSB.
The committee was further informed that during financial year 2021-21 a development budget of Rs130.828 million was utilised out of the allocated budget of Rs929.429 million. And the non-development budget of Rs55.131 million was utilised out of the allocated budget of Rs1015.550 million.
The committee members raised question on the non-utilisation of the allocated budget to which the minister replied that not only officers from Grade 1 to 5 but officers till Grade 16 were appointed on daily wages, which contributed to the non-utilisation of the budget because of their salaries.
Senator Mushtaq Ahmed remarked that 70 percent of the population is in the 0-29 age group. He added that a budget of Rs1 billion is even less if it is to be utilised in the field of sports.
Published in Dawn, August 12th, 2021