Kalmadi unilaterally announced Rs.33 crore to CWG associations: Shunglu

April 2nd, 2011 - 1:10 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) Former Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi announced a grant of $7.2 million (Rs.33 crore) “without any authority or prior consultation” to 72 Commonwealth Games associations in various countries at the Montego Bay meeting in 2003 that alloted the Games to New Delhi. He later claimed to have taken prior permission of then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, but the PMO has denied this, the V.K. Shunglu panel said Friday.

In its sixth report made public Friday, the panel 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 (Kalmadi) 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,” the panel, which is probing irregularities in the preparations for the Games, said.

“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 also termed as a myth the claim of the OC that the Commonwealth Games were revenue neutral - income would be equal to the expenses - because the cabinet sanction includes an amount of Rs.767 crore.

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.

It said the cost of the Games was “periodically revised” and then reported as part of the “buget” for the event.

“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.

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