Kalmadi-led CWG organising committee a sham: Shunglu panel(Lead)April 2nd, 2011 - 12:37 am ICT by IANS
New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) The V.K. Shunglu committee has severely indicted former Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) chief Suresh Kalmadi for running the OC “like a club” with very little accountability. Even the document for his appointment as OC chairperson was created at Kalmadi’s “behest” for being “specifically used to secure his ends”, it said Friday.
The two-member committee, in its sixth and last report made public Friday, said that “it appears there was no internal accountability framework for the OC chairman, as he could not be called to question in any governance forum in the OC”.
The report said that it has found “material changes” in official documents by Kalmadi to get the post of OC chief and also to have sweeping administrative control over it.
The report, running into 103 pages, described the OC as a “sham society with much lesser accountability and transparency even in comparison to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA)”.
“We have, therefore, no hesitation in coming to the conclusion that a document (relating to appointment for CWG OC chairman) was created by Kalmadi or at his behest in IOA for being specifically used to secure his ends, i.e. Chairmanship of OC and justification for the commitments made by him at Montego Bay without any authority,” the report said.
The reference was to the Nov 13, 2003 meeting of the Commonwealth Games Federation at Jamaica’s Montego Bay where the 2010 CWG was alloted to New Delhi, beating out Hamilton in Canada’s Ontario province.
The report also vehemently criticised the functioning of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on the Games and said it “lacked a sense of ownership”.
The Shunglu committee was appointed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh soon after the Oct 3-14, 2010 Games.
In its earlier reports, the panel has indicted several government functionaries including Delhi Lt. Governor Tejinder Khanna, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and suspended Prasar Bharati CEO B.S. Lalli.
The sixth report said that at many times, the OC seemed to function as a club where the criteria for recruitment and promotion seemed to have been “who knows who”. It pointed out that Kalmadi brought in individuals as employees and consultants from his constituency in Pune, overlooking equivalent or better talent available elsewhere.
The Shunglu panel rejected the plea that all the decisions of Kalmadi had the approval of the executive board. It said: “The board had a subservient position to the chairman. For example, in case of an emergency, it was provided that the chairman shall take decision in the interest of the society and inform the EB in its next meeting and which shall be ratified by the EB.”
The report also hinted at the OC blocking the functioning of officials appointed by the Prime Minister’s Office(PMO). “Jarnail Singh, who joined as CEO on 2009 Oct 16 was formally given the responsibility only on Nov 6th” it said.
The committee also questioned the $7.2 million (Rs.33 crore) grant announced by Kalmadi to the 72 Commonwealth Games associations in various countries at the Montego Bay meeting. It said there was no record to show that Kalmadi had taken prior permission from then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The report said: “In September 2004, Rajkumar Sacheti, Director (Coordination), Indian Olympic Association informed Government of an additional liability of US $ 7.2 million. This had arisen because President, IOA had announced a training grant of US$ 100,000 to each of the 72 Commonwealth Games Associations at Montego Bay during the General Assembly in November, 2003. Although ministry was aware of this announcement since it had answered a Parliament Question on 2nd Dec, 2003 on this subject, it feigned complete ignorance and seemed surprised.”
“To this day, this has remained its stand. In our meeting with R.K. Mishra, the then joint secretary in the Ministry of Sports, he chose to remain silent on this matter. Our query to the then Minister Vikram Verma, shows that the announcement was made by Kalmadi without any authority or prior consultation. On being asked, Kalmadi stated that he had taken the prior approval of the then Prime Minister (Vajpayee) telephonically. According to the Prime Minister’s Office there is no record of such approval,” the report added.
The committee said the claim of the OC that the Games were revenue neutral - income would be equal to the expenses - was a myth, because the cabinet sanction includes an amount of Rs.767 crores.
The Shunglu pael described many of the letters of the OC administrators as “fictional”.
It said: “It is worth noting that the letter of Randhir Singh, Secretary General, IOA to Department of Sports (March, 2003) is fictional. Likewise, the letter of Kalmadi, President, IOA (August 2003) is a marginal improvement on the fiction. These letters were only designed to obtain the approval of the government under pretext that the Games would be ‘revenue neutral’, that there would be virtually no financial liability for Government to meet and therefore it would be quite safe to underwrite the Games.”
“What was envisaged in Prime Minister’s meeting of August, 2006 was a budget for the Games and for the Ministries/entities to work within that established Budget. This has not taken place,” the report said.
The panel criticised the functioning of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on the CWG too.
“All that has been done is that the cost of the Games to the exchequer is being periodically revised and reported as the Budget for the Games. On the last such occasion at the 32nd meeting of the GOM held on 22.09.2010 the GOM is informed of the Budget having increased to 11,687 crore with the sanction of 193.42 crore to Organizing Committee. What has increased is the financial outlay, not the Budget.
“It is a misnomer to describe the periodic increases in sanctioned outlays as a Budget. These are merely cost revisions,” the Shunglu panel added.
“While the first GOM was set up to coordinate issues with regard to CWG - 2010 it has begun to take substantive decisions which may/may not have belonged to GOM because the GOM was not empowered in terms of the notification issued by the Cabinet Secretariat on the subject,” the Shunglu panel said.
- Kalmadi unilaterally announced Rs.33 crore to CWG associations: Shunglu - Apr 02, 2011
- Kalmadi-led CWG Organising Committee a sham: Shunglu panel - Apr 01, 2011
- Action against anybody found guilty by Shunglu panel: Maken - Apr 13, 2011
- CAG questions Kalmadi's role as OC chairman - Aug 05, 2011
- Government concealed facts on CWG: Jaitley (Lead) - Aug 09, 2011
- Maken's comment on Kalmadi misleading, says BJP - Aug 03, 2011
- PMO appointed Kalmadi despite 'strenuous objections': CAG - Aug 05, 2011
- Government blames NDA for Kalmadi's appointment - Aug 02, 2011
- Delhi government submits response to Shunglu panel report - May 28, 2011
- Term of GoM on CWG extended - Nov 07, 2011
- Games Organising Committee tenure extended (Lead) - Oct 18, 2010
- CAG blames Dikshit, Kalmadi for 'enormous bungling' in CWG (Second Lead) - Aug 05, 2011
- Delhi government formulates response on CWG charges - May 25, 2011
- BJP seeks accountability for Kalmadi's appointment (Second Lead) - Aug 09, 2011
- BJP questions PM, Sonia on Dikshit's 'defiance' of Shunglu report - Mar 29, 2011
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