Pending amount due to non-performance: Kalmadi
After Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd raised the matter of unpaid bills of Australian firms for their work during the Delhi Commonwealth Games, India scrambled to save face, with the sports minister asking officials to sort out the issue within 10 days.|
Australia yesterday raised the issue of millions of dollars owed to its firms by the CWG Organising Committee with visiting External Affairs Minister SM Krishna in Melbourne, who assured that he would take it up with the sports ministry.
"It has been brought to my notice... As soon as I go back, I will take it up with ministry of sports," Krishna addressing reporters with Rudd on his side said. A few hours later newly-appointed Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Ajay Maken said that his first order after taking charge was directing officials to solve this matter within 10 days.
"I have directed the sports secretary to speak to the government nominees in the Organising Committee to thoroughly verify legitimate payments and I have given them 10 days time to sort out the issue," Maken said.
Meanwhile, Games OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi released a statement where he claimed that 85 per cent of contracted amount to Ric Birch had already been released, while the rest had been pending due to "under-performance" as raised by the event's creative director, Bharat Bala.
"Birch was not available at the crucial juncture of the final preparations for the closing ceremony as he had left after the opening ceremony of the Games and there have been instances of incorrect advice that cost the Organising Committee time and resources. The remaining 15 per cent has been held back and Spectak Productions informed accordingly," he said.
On payments due to two other Australian firms, Howard and Sons and Norwest, Kalmadi said that full payment was being released after getting proper taxation advice and receiving original invoices.