PM sets up GoM to tackle mess | delhi | Hindustan Times
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PM sets up GoM to tackle mess

In the midst of furore over irregularities in Commonwealth Games, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has constituted a committee of senior cabinet ministers to recommend action against persons accused of lapses by the Shunglu Committee.

delhi Updated: Aug 06, 2011 21:18 IST
Chetan Chauhan

In the midst of furore over irregularities in Commonwealth Games, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has constituted a committee of senior cabinet ministers to recommend action against persons accused of lapses by the Shunglu Committee.

A circular notifying the Group of Ministers (GoM) reached ministers on the day the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) submitted its report on irregularities in conducting the game, thereby reviving politics over the games.

PM Singh had constituted a high level committee under V K Shunglu, former CAG, after the games got over in October. The committee submitted seven reports with indictment of officials in different aspects of games including organisation, broadcasting and infrastructure creation by March 2011.

Acting on the reports highlighting undue favour to certain entities, the PM sought comments of the ministers mentioned in the Shunglu committee with a clear direction that they should clearly specify agreement and disagreement with his report. "In case of disagreement the PMO will take the final view," a letter sent to different ministries said.

By mid-July, the PMO received loads of documents as ministers’ defense against many of the Shunglu's recommendations. Delhi Government and Central Public Works department went public to trash Shunglu findings saying the conclusions were not based on facts.

The PM, who off-late had been under political attack for not acting, demonstrated his intentions by asking the GoM to be headed by defence minister A K Antony to examine the views expressed by ministries and reach a "considered view for further action".

Although the CBI has registered 17 cases against 78 government officials till now, the PM wants the GoM to recommend disciplinary, criminal and civil action against persons indicted of wrong doing in the Shunglu report including officials and contractors. "It shows the government's intention that nobody found guilty will be spared," said a senior minister in the UPA government.

The GoM, which also has HRD minister Kapil Sibal, Law minister Salman Khurshid and Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, has been given three months to submit its report for the Cabinet's consideration.

To prevent any possible conflict of interest, the PM has not nominated any minister in-charge of departments having some role to play in the games in the GoM. They may, however, be called to present their case before the GoM.