Sunday, August 1, 2010

Kalmadi on CWG Money laundering

Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi on Saturday said that there was total transparency in all the deals and "every pie is accounted for".

A day after the OC was rocked by an alleged scam involving a little known UK-based company, Kalmadi held a lengthy press conference to dismiss all allegations as "totally unfounded and baseless" and threatened to initiate legal action against those who have maligned the OC's image."We have nothing to hide. There is total transparency in OC and our conscience is clear. All the headlines about money trail story is false. Every pie is accounted for. We are hurt by this allegations," Kalmadi said.

"I am deeply pained by these unfounded and baseless allegations. I totally deny this malicious broadcast. It is bad for the morale of the Games which is in such an important phase. I will like to deny everything which is coming in the news channel. There is nothing against us in the Central Vigilance Commission report," he said."I am thinking of legal action, including defamation against the channel. It is such a malicious reporting which is far from truth," Kalmadi added.The Delhi Games were hit by a major scam after the British Government raised questions about a substantial sum of money which was transferred to A M Films from the OC.

Reports claimed that over 4.50 lakh pounds were transferred through a British bank to the company, which was also said to be receiving 25,000 pounds a month for costume designing.Clarifying the position, Kalmadi admitted that there was no contract between the OC and A M Films and they roped in the company at the last minute only on the recommendation of the Indian High Commission in London.
"There are two sides of the story. Whole thing has come out because of the VAT refund we have asked from the company. They (British authorities) might have gone to the office of the company but if there is something wrong there, I am not responsible for it. If we were wrong, why would we ask for VAT refund," he said.

Kalmadi denied that the CWG Organising Committee transferred 25,000 pounds every month to AM Films for costume design and said the OC made a one-time payment of two lakh and 38 thousand pounds in October last year."Neither we paid money for costume designing nor paid any monthly amount to A M films. The whole amount of 2 lakh 38 thousand pounds was paid one-time in October 2009," he said."The budget for QBR function in London was dully approved by the executive committee of OC as Rs 13 crore and we spent only six crores. All the money was taken with RBI permission," said Kalmadi.He explained that the High Commission had recommended two firms AM Cars & Vans and A M Films for the additional job as demanded by the London authorities to hold the QBR as the main event management company Jacks and Morton Worldwide said their hands were full."AM Cars and Vans a company compelled by the High Commission of India in London was appointed for all the transportation requirement on the rates approved by the High Commission. Since AM Films was a sister company of AM Cars and Vans we went for it and that also on the rates recommended by the High Commission," he said waving the letter issued by High Commission on October 13, 2009.
He said the money to AM Films Ltd was paid through bank transfer from Delhi with due approvals.The other items like mobile toilets, barricades etc were got through AM Cars and Vans, he said.Regarding the CVC report on construction of stadiums, Kalmadi said the OC was not in the picture.

Kalmadi challenged the news channels to prove any transaction that the Organising Committee transfers 25 thousand Pounds every month to AM Films for costume design. He said that the Organising Committee agreed to arrange all items suggested by the London based civic and Royal authorities during the Queen's Baton Relay launch ceremony there on 23rd March 2009 and procured them from AM Films Limited at the cost of One lakh 46 thousand 8 hundred 86 point eight zero Pounds after due approvals. He said that all transactions by the Organising Committee are transparent and they have followed all the appropriate financial procedures.

"All the 16 points in the CVC report has nothing to do with the OC. We have yet to get the possession of all the venues which we are going to do tomorrow. You can now ask the venue owners about it," he retorted.

CWG 2010 is mega event, seventy one nations to participate with best of International standards infra for sports the most expensive CWG,infrastructure and organising budget of $2.22 billion) and the official estimates say the Indian Sports Minister M. S. Gill in the parliament on Friday the cost of organising the Games had risen by a factor of 17 since the bid was made in 2003.

Sports Minister M S Gill on Saturday promised to take "prompt and appropriate" against corruption cases in the Commonwealth Games and said all deals related to the sporting extravangza should be be tabled in Parliament.Gill said that if any irregularities related to 3rd-14th October mega event were brought to his Ministry's notice, it would deal with it seriously and swiftly."Anything that needs to be looked at must be looked at and it will continue even after the Games. I believe that we must put forward everything before the Parliament and the people," he told reporters in New Delhi."I am closely following whatever has been reported in the media related to various issues of the Games, preparations as well as other issues. Whatever they be, the clear policy and duty of the Ministry is that if anything comes to our notice which needed to be dealt with, then the officers must make sure that they deal with it promptly and appropriately."
"I believe that in our country which is a very powerful and vibrant democracy with a very strong press, we need to support the democracy and the people's right to know," the Minister said.

Reports claimed that over 4.50 lakh pounds were transferred through a British bank to the company, which was also said to be receiving 25,000 pounds a month for costume designing.Gill said financial bungling may be making headlines, but at this crucial juncture hosting a successful Games should be the priority of all the parties concerned.
"I think for all of us the prime focus has to be that in a little over 2 months we will be hosting the Commonwealth Games, which were taken in 2003 by the contry's government and continued by the successor governments."
"The major parties support the necessity to conclude the Games in a successful manner for the honour and the good of the country and now it should be the prime duty for all of us," he said.
"We (ministry) have to make sure that we complete all the stadiums on time and keep on supporting the athletes. We should not lose focus of the necessity of delivering a good Games for the honour of the country," the Minister reiterated.

CVC official reveal all the construction quality certificates inspected so far had been fake or "suspect", raising serious concerns for athletes' and spectators' safety during the 12- day sporting extravaganza.
"Fake certificates were routinely issued to pass substandard work and material," an official of the Central Vigilance Commission told daily newspaper.
Other certificates were "suspect", the official said and "We have not yet been able to gauge the financial implications, but it is certain to have led to very big gains for vendors and contractors."

Construction agencies responsible for the creating the Games infrastructure are going to hand them over to the Organising Committee today on Sunday 1 August 2010

“The organising committee will take over the games facilities tomorrow completed in all respects only. Mr Kalmadi asserted that the fields of play in all the stadia are of the world class and are in excellent condition. looking to the fact that these games are going to be viewed by about 3 billion people all over the globe, Mr Kalmadi's appeal to stand united to make it a big success comes at no less an appropriate time when the mega event is just over two months away.”

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