|Recently crowned trillion dollar economy, India, will be the third developing country (after Jamaica in 1966 and Malaysia in 1998) to host the Commonwealth Games in 2010. No doubt, CWG will boost infrastructure of the host city, Delhi where the event is scheduled to be held from 3-14 October covering 17 disciplines. The construction of roads, flyovers, car parks, housing, stadium, drainage, metro system etc. will generate many employment opportunities. Also, this event is expected to spur boom in hotel, airline, tour and travel industry as well as in neighbouring states.
An economy which is ranked 126 out of 177 countries in Human Development Index and 55 among 102 developing countries in Human Poverty Index will be spending around a billion dollars on a sporting event. Although hosting such mega sporting events is viewed as a prestigious achievement resulting in opportunities for economic profit, urban regeneration and global media exposure, the experience that a developing nation faces differ vastly from that of a developed nation. One of the factors that work against developing nation is the lack of existing infrastructure leading to higher expenditure. In the Indian context, it is clearly depicted by the size of financial approvals. Government has approved Rs.1000 crores (10%) for upgradation/creation of venue infrastructure for the projects of Sports Authority of India, Rs.767 crores (15%) for conduct of the games to the organizing committee, Rs. 770 crores to Delhi Government for upgradation of civic infrastructure and EFC has recommended Rs 325 crores (25%) for DDA. These financial outlays exceed the total central plan outlay allocated to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in the last ten years (1997/98-2006/07). Moreover, the opportunity cost of capital may be particularly high in developing nations.
|Note: * Budget Estimate|
|The extent to which newly constructed sports facilities represent a good public investment depends not only on the immediate economic impact of the mega event but also on its post event usage. Lack of developed sports culture and bureaucracy in India may not only lead to inefficient use of the world class facilities after the event but also tend to fall into disrepair.
It is hoped that the decision to host CWG turns out as a step towards propelling India on to the world stage by making short and long term benefits of the games large enough to cover the costs rather than a burden on the existing system.