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The Con Games

The Con Games

The Con Games

An estimated 2,500 meals need to be served every hour. Thanks to the mismanagement and dilly-dallying over finalising the caterers by the OC, most of them are now unwilling to step in as they say that there is too little time, extremely ambitious expectations and meagre returns. The OC has no money left under the catering head since it frittered away its finances on inexplicable cancellation and re-tendering of the contract for the Village.

It is the same story of mismanagement and delays for many of the other crucial aspects related to the conduct of the Games. They have asked the Sports Ministry to provide them with at least Rs 720 crore due to unavoidable cost overruns in various areas. The functional area of communication, image and look has also witnessed a huge overrun of over Rs 105 crore. The budget for ceremonies also shot up from estimated Rs 106 crore to Rs 375 crore, sending the entire OC finances in a tizzy.

An estimated 2,500 meals need to be served every hour. Thanks to the mismanagement and dilly-dallying over finalising the caterers by the OC, most of them are now unwilling to step in as they say that there is too little time, extremely ambitious expectations and meagre returns. The OC has no money left under the catering head since it frittered away its finances on inexplicable cancellation and re-tendering of the contract for the Village.

It is the same story of mismanagement and delays for many of the other crucial aspects related to the conduct of the Games. They have asked the Sports Ministry to provide them with at least Rs 720 crore due to unavoidable cost overruns in various areas. The functional area of communication, image and look has also witnessed a huge overrun of over Rs 105 crore. The budget for ceremonies also shot up from estimated Rs 106 crore to Rs 375 crore, sending the entire OC finances in a tizzy.

The sports minister said that they were considering the proposal for the extra Rs 720 crore. It needed to be cleared by the Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by Union Urban Affairs Minister Jaipal Reddy, for the final approval. However, Gill said that the finance minister had made it clear that no more funds would be forthcoming.

In the meantime, the OC is knocking at the doors of the cash-rich Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and NHAI for funds. They have asked the BCCI for Rs 100 crore and the NHAI for sponsorship packages ranging between Rs 10 crore and Rs 100 crore. With the OC struggling to get sponsorships, the Government has asked the PSUs to bail them out as part of corporate social responsibility.

The OC, on its own, got very few sponsors, far below the target of Rs 1,800 crore. It only managed Rs 342 crore from 10 sponsors, of which Indian Railways is shelling out Rs 100 crore. Air India and National Thermal Power Corporation have promised Rs 50 crore each. Central Bank has committed Rs 51 crore.

The only two private sponsors, Hero Honda and Coca-Cola are chipping in with Rs 38 crore and Rs 16 crore, respectively. Unabashed about seeking sponsors, Kalmadi said that he had sent some 500 letters to various agencies and companies for sponsorship.

"We have one big sponsor in Indian Railways, we need another big one," he says. About asking the BCCI for funds, Kalmadi said that it was an opportunity for the Board to do something for sports other than cricket.

One of OC's big blunders has been appointing Australian firm Sports Marketing and Management (SMAM) for arranging sponsorships.

According to the agreement between SMAM and the OC, signed on July 25, 2007, SMAM is the "sole and exclusive negotiator and procurer of sponsorship for licensing contracts.





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21 Sep, 2019, 23:20:39 PM