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Despite scams, Centre to allocate more funds for CWG

By Renu Mittal
August 05, 2010 14:03 IST
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In spite of the recent spate of exposes detailing alleged corruption and scams in the preparations for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, the Centre has decided to release additional funds for the Games.

The Opposition will get yet another chance to attack the government and the Suresh Kalmadi-led Commonwealth Games Organising Committee when Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee presents the supplementary demand for grants in Lok Sabha.

Mukherjee will seek an additional Rs 70,000 crore for the various ministries, of which approximately Rs 250 crore will be sanctioned for the Games.

This will include an additional Rs 22 crore for the opening and closing ceremonies, Rs 104 crore for security and intelligence gathering, Rs 70 crore for maintenance and beautification of various venues and the areas around them, among others

The media scoops about the various scams has triggered outrage throughout the country at the manner in which public funds are being squandered, with daily revelations about the activities of Kalmadi and his team.

A senior official in the Prime Minister's Office has said that since the Indian Olympic Association is a non-governmental organisation, there is little that the government can do except putting in place a supervisory mechanism to monitor the organising committee.

Sources say that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Mukherjee are likely to discuss the explosive situation surrounding the Commonwealth Games. The problem being faced by the government is that there is no unified area of command which can coordinate and integrate the activities of various agencies.

In the current scenario, the sports ministry is functioning independently, the Delhi government is taking its own decisions and the organising committee, under the supervision of Kalmadi, is a power centre by itself.

Each entity involved with organsing the CWG is blaming the other for the sloppy arrangements, causing acute embarrassment to the Congress and the government.

The Congress on Wednesday refused to defend Kalmadi, saying he was handling the CWG as a representative of the Indian Olympic Association, not the party.

To add to the party's woes, Congress president Sonia Gandhi is still out of the country, tending to her ill mother. The core committee meetings, which are normally held to take crucial decisions and brainstorm on important issues, are on hold till the she comes back.

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