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Rediff.com  » Business » Govt in a fix over funds for Commonwealth Games

Govt in a fix over funds for Commonwealth Games

May 23, 2005 13:02 IST

The government is grappling with finances of the 2010 Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi. This is because of escalating costs and a lack of clarity on revenue streams.

As per the latest estimates submitted by the organising committee to the government, the cost of holding the games, excluding the cost of creating infrastructure in the Capital, has already risen from Rs 634 crore ($141 million) to around Rs 800 crore (Rs 8 billion).

The increase in cost is because over 8,000 sportspersons and officials are expected to participate in the 12-day event, against the projected number of 7,000.

Also, the organising committee has now proposed to extend a $1,00,000 preparation grant to each of the 72 Commonwealth Games Associations, resulting in an additional cost of Rs 32.40 crore (Rs 324 million). This was not a part of the proposal cleared by the Cabinet.

The earlier proposal had put the spending at $422 million while, the revenues were estimated at $186 million, which the evaluation committee of the Games says is "potentially overstated".

The Centre has already allocated Rs 45.5 crore (Rs 455 million) from the current fiscal, while the Delhi government has chipped in with over Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion) for the games.

A financial sub-committee under Finance Minister P Chidambaram, which is to meet shortly, will now work out the budgetary requirement by September this year.

The sub-committee includes Suresh Kalmadi, chairman of the organising committee, secretaries from the ministry of youth affairs and sports, and urban development, chief secretary of Delhi, vice-chairman of Delhi Development Authority, director-general of the Sports Authority of India, and additional secretaries in the department of economic affairs.

An official from the water resources ministry had also been appointed as a member-secretary of the financial sub-committee, though the ministry was not part of the group of ministers under Arjun Singh.

Finance ministry officials said it was not clear whether the Centre would provide funds upfront, or whether the organising committee would refund the money, as and when money accrued to it. The spending mechanism was still to be decided.

The sub-committee will consider proposals on the basis of a five-year budget, projected cash flows, annual plans and budget provisions. The GoM will then approve the estimates and finalise the funding method.

The organising committee has projected a cost of Rs 30 crore (Rs 300 million) for publicity, Rs 20 crore (Rs 200 million) for administrative expenses, Rs 2 crore (Rs 20 million) for organising a visit of the participants to the Taj Mahal, and Rs 5 crore (Rs 50 million) for undertaking a study tour of Melbourne, Doha and Beijing.

While Melbourne has hosted the Commonwealth Games, the 2006 Asian Games is scheduled to be held in Doha and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Overshooting estimates

  • The increase in cost has been attributed to the fact that over 8,000 sportspersons are expected to participate
  • The organising committee has also proposed to extend a $1,00,000 preparation grant to each of the 72 Commonwealth Games Associations
  • The Centre has already provided a Rs 45.5 crore budgetary allocation for the current fiscal
  • The Delhi government has also chipped in with over Rs 100 crore for the games
Monica Gupta & Sidhartha in New Delhi
Source: