The Con Games
The company stands to gain a commission of 15 to 20 per cent on each sponsorship that comes for the Games, even if it has nothing to do with it. So, while the PSUs chip in, SMAM cheers. Questions were raised within the OC about the win-win deal in favour of SMAM.
In fact, in an internal memo signed by then Additional Director General (Revenue) V.K. Saksena on February 12, says "SMAM's contribution in major deals signed so far has been zero even though they are entitled to the same commission from these deals as they are from deals which are negotiated by them.''
The Sports Ministry is also quite irked by the arbitrary decisions taken by the OC on several matters. In fact, according to sources, the OC was having a free run before Gill took over as the sports minister on April 6, 2008, with no system of checks and balances.
With complaints about financial irregularities and mismanagement, an audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) was undertaken in July 2009. Its report pointed out several lacunae and delays in various projects.
A committee of secretaries on finance was also set up to clear demands for funds and also to monitor the OC spending. The GoM under Reddy was set up in 2008 to monitor the progress and clear proposals. Gill proudly claimed that before he came into the scene, hardly any progress had been made in the work on stadia.
"I personally monitored the progress, especially in the venues for swimming, shooting and cycling,'' says the sports minister. Moreover, only after July 31, when all the venues are scheduled to be handed over to the OC, the work on overlays and securing them will start. Security agencies needed at least 45 days to secure the venues, which seems highly unlikely now.
Last October, when the one year countdown for the 19th Commonwealth Games began, Gill compared the event to the great Indian wedding. "We keep preparing till the last minute, then the baraat arrives and everything passes off wonderfully."