PM should reveal action on Shunglu panel report: BJP

April 1st, 2011 - 11:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) Targeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the V.K. Shunglu panel report, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Friday said he should spell out the action intended against those involved in alleged irregularities in the preparations for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

“The BJP would like to ask the prime minister to tell the nation as to what action he proposes to take against those involved and what level,” BJP’s chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said here.

He said the fifth report of the high-level committee (HLC) headed by Shunglu, a former Comptroller and Auditor General of India, “once again confirms” that there were gross acts of omission and commission, which facilitated undue gains to the contractors, leading to wasteful expenditure and overall loss to the government.

“The report specifically mentions that ‘the malaise runs deep and cannot be dismissed as a one off aberration for which relatively junior functionaries alone can be held responsible. Officers of the Organisation concerned, who were involved, would have to be identified on the basis of further investigation and suitable action be taken’,” Prasad said.

He said the report has pointed out glaring irregularities in award of contracts and tenders, poor oversight and deliberate lack of monitoring, which led to collusive bidding, hasty decisions, cost escalation and wasteful expenditure.

“The total loss was Rs. 1600 crore in stadium projects and the cost of delays alone amounted to Rs. 800 crores. In all this, apart from the Delhi Government, the DDA (Delhi Development Authority), CPWD (Central Public Works Department), the NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Council), the PWD (Public Works Department) are involved,” he said.

Prasad said the panel has already said that Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit concentrated “all the financial power in her hand while the organising committee headed by Suresh Kalmadi indulged in acts of corruption and financial mismanagement”.

Demanding arrest and custodial interrogation of Kalmadi, Prasad said Dikshit too has a lot to answer for.

He said the conspiracy was to deliberately delay timely conclusion of projects, escalate cost, seek more funds and award contracts at a high cost.

“This would be evident from the fact that the organising committee awarded only 47 out of 542 contracts between October 2006 and December 2009. Later, it awarded 495 contracts in just nine months from January to September 2010,” Prasad said, adding that the highest number of contracts were awarded in September 2010, a month before the games… The committee has noted ‘it appears as if to economise was criminal and to splurge was civil’,” Prasad said.

Prasad said the committee had also noted “there was a method in the madness and the undue delay on projects was perhaps a deliberate attempt at higher levels to create a sense of panic with a view to giving undue advantage to all concerned”.

The BJP spokesman said sanction of additional funds was done by a high powered committee having many officers from the prime minister’s office (PMO).

“The BJP would like to ask the prime minister would he allow fair and transparent investigation into the role of those who supervised, monitored and sanctioned extra funds in a very hurried manner in top level bodies including those in the PMO,” he said.

He said all those responsible regardless of their stature must be brought to book in a fair investigation.

“If the prime minister again maintains a conspicuous silence then it would be the final confirmation of his patronage of the corrupt,” Prasad said.

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