Afroz Alam Sahil, BeyondHeadlines
Six months after the Common Wealth Games, $70 million payment of 20 foreign companies are still pending and is severely damaging India’s reputations in the international market.
The RTI report dig out by Subhash Chandra Agarwal, of which BeyondHeadlines has a copy, reveals that the high commissioners of eight countries in India, Australia, Britain, Germany, Belguim, France, Italy, Netherland and Switzerland had written a complain to the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Ajay Maken and to the Finance Minister, requesting them to facilitate the payments of companies from their respective countries.
The High Commissioners stated in the letter dated 14th February, 2011, “Four months after the event finished nearly twenty companies from our countries still await full payment against contracts entered, into in good faith; These companies made ‘a substantial contribution to the success of the Games, bringing world-class skills and capabilities to India. The combined amount owed to these ‘companies is close to US $70 million, as you will, appreciate, this, has caused considerable financial difficulty for all and some in a critical position.”
It’s not only the Shunglu committee, investigating the CWG scam, but the foreign companies are also concerned about Prasar Bharti.
The High Commissioners also stated that, “Our concerns extend beyond the Organizing Committee, (OC), embracing bodies such as the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and Prasar Bharati (PB).”
They also complained that these foreign companies have not yet received the required clearances from the Reserve Bank of India and Central Board of Excise and Customs to release shipping containers, transporting equipments to the foreign companies.
The high commissioners of these eight European countries also wrote in their written complain: “The delay in settling these matters is damaging India’s national reputation, including as a’ host of major sporting events, denting the confidence of foreign business and raising doubts about the enforcement of contracts.”
Responding to the letter, Sindhushree Kuller, Secretary of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports had called for a meeting of concerned ministries and government agencies.
The high-level committee, headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General V K Shunglu, appointed by the Prime Minister to look into allegations of irregularities in the conduct of the sporting event, had recommended strict action against then Chief Executive Officer of Prasar Bharati B S Lalli and then Director General (Doordarshan) Aruna Sharma for providing “undue benefit” to Sis Live and Zoom Communications in the award of broadcasting rights of Commonwealth Games.