The government has adopted a go-slow approach on charges of financial irregularities in execution of projects for the Commonwealth Games 2010.
A Group of Ministers headed by Defence Minister A K Antony constituted in July 2011 had not met since last September resulting in the government not acting on any of the specific recommendations by V K Shunglu committee on irregularities in execution of projects for the games.
Shunglu committee had submitted a set of six reports to the government on different sectors involved in executing the games such as Delhi Government, Sports Ministry, Delhi Development Authority and the games organizing committee. The panel had estimated loss to exchequer worth several thousand crores and made several recommendations including identifying those responsible for the lapses to the government and new mechanism for monitoring of key infrastructure projects.
Acting fast, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh set up a GoM to examine the Shunglu panel reports and suggest administrative changes to prevent repeat of such a scam. He also wanted the GoM to submit its recommendations within a few months.
The GoM, in its first meeting on August 16, 2011 had sought comments of all departments on the recommendations of the panel and sought specific comments on disagreement with the recommendations. It was also decided that the GoM will consider each report of the panel.The second meeting of the GoM held on September 6 deliberated on the panel’s finding on host broadcaster for the games, public broadcaster Prasar Bharati. The GoM on most of the issues decided not to act on the ground that instances of alleged abuse of authority was already under investigation.
“It may not be necessary at this stage to express a view on this,” the GoM observed, while absolving the Information and Broadcasting ministry of any intended misconduct and blaming Prasar Bharati for irregularities.
The third and the last meeting of the GoM was held on September 27, 2011 regarding the Commonwealth Games village development with the help of private party. The Urban Development ministry, which controls the DDA, made a detailed presentation not agreeing with the recommendations of the panel. The meeting ended with the GoM observing that the response of the ministry requires further deliberations.
Government officials said that since then the GoM has not met and Shunglu panel’s observations against the biggest spenders for the games -- the Delhi government --- had not been considered so far. The GoM is yet to consider reports on functioning of the games organizing committee headed by Suresh Kalmadi, who has been released on bail.
The government has gone slow on plugging administrative flaws to prevent repeat of irregularities during Commonwealth Games 2010 with the Group of Ministers headed by Defence Minister A K Antony not having met for almost a year.