The government will try its best to improve the sports facilities in Dharamshala and give 'Devbhumi' a recognition of 'Khelbhumi', said Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur while addressing a press conference in Dharamshala on Sunday.
"Dharamshala has made an identity in sports. We will try to initiate more projects like the cricket stadium in Dharamshala. And if the state government allocates us land, we will establish a high altitude training centre here soon," said Thakur.
He further stated that the government will prioritise protecting and promoting Himachal Pradesh's art and culture.
In his first visit to Dharamshala after assuming the charge as Union Sports Minister, Thakur said that the government has been promoting sports through various schemes and policies. "We introduced Khelo India schemes, Target Olympic Podium scheme and established National Centres for Excellence to promote sports and help the athletes. Our new education policy also promotes sports," he said.
He added that sports is a state subject and the government's efforts will only be fruitful if state governments also provide their support. "State government should promote sports and schools, colleges and universities should play an important role in the development of sports culture in the country," he stated.
On being asked about the problems of inflation and unemployment in the country, Thakur took a dig at Congress and said that the inflation rate was much higher in their regime. "Inflation rate was in double digits during Congress government's tenure. In the Modi government's tenure from 2014-2019, the inflation rate was only 4.5 per cent. The supply chain was disrupted in the pandemic but the government made sure to help people in all possible ways," he said.
"We provided free rations to 80 crores people for 15 months and even provided free LPG cylinders for three months. There was a direct transfer of money in the accounts of women, senior citizens, widows, farmers and vendors under various schemes. We are also trying to attract investments to increase employment," he added.
Thakur also said that the government is taking all the steps to stop the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. "Up to 55 crores vaccines have been provided and Rs 35,000 crores have been allocated for vaccines. We are setting up more than 1500 oxygen plants in the country and the government has also allocated Rs 23,000 crores for pediatric care in view of the third wave," he stated.
The minister also condemned Congress and opposition leaders for disrupting the Monsoon session of Parliament. "They intended a washout and didn't even let Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduce the cabinet ministers. I think it might be because this cabinet gave representation to OBCs, SCs, STs, women and minorities," he said.