Punjab pacifies CWG medallists with prize money hike

Thursday, November 4, 2010

CHANDIGARH - Facing resentment of players over being payed much lesser amounts than their counterparts in Haryana, the Punjab government Thursday hiked the prize money for the Commonwealth Games medallists from the state.

“Gold medallists will be rewarded with Rs.16 lakh, while silver and bronze medallists will receive Rs.11 lakh and Rs.6 lakh respectively,” an official here said.

The prize money offered earlier was Rs.7 lakh, Rs.5 lakh and Rs.3 lakh for gold, silver and bronze medallists respectively.

Earlier, the Haryana government had doled out cash rewards of Rs.15 lakh, Rs.10 lakh and Rs.5 lakh to its gold, silver and bronze medallists. The players had also received cars from Maruti Suzuki, which has its manufacturing plants at Gurgaon and Manesar in Haryana.

The Punjab government had drawn a lot of flak for being stingy in rewarding its players. Some Punjab players were even contemplating shifting to Haryana.

“We discussed the matter amongst some players. Given the honour, cash prizes and other freebies being given to players in Haryana, we thought that playing for Punjab was not as rewarding. We come from humble backgrounds and the cash rewards and other incentives surely help us a lot,” said a CWG medallist from Punjab, requesting anonymity.

Apart from cars and cash, Haryana players also got expensive mobile phones, desi ghee and other freebies. Players from the state who could not win medals too were given Rs.2 lakh for participation the Games.

Besides, coaches of the medallists also took home cash rewards (Rs.3 lakh, Rs.2 lakh and Rs.1 lakh for gold, silver and bronze medals respectively).

A total of 54 sportspersons from Haryana participated in the Commonwealth Games, bagging 32 medals - 17 gold, seven silver and eight bronze. Punjab bagged 12 medals - four gold, six silver and two bronze.

The Indian contingent won a total of 101 medals, its best-ever performance.

Filed under: Commonwealth Games

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