Rs 350 cr wasted on CWG telecast: Shunglu report
A High Level Committee, which went into alleged financial irregularities in Commonwealth Games, has strongly indicted suspended Prasar Bharti CEO B S Lalli and Doordarshan director general Aruna Sharma, accusing them of "collusion" with a UK-based firm which benefited Rs 135 crore in the broadcast deal.delhi Updated: Feb 02, 2011 01:55 IST
The Prasar Bharti Corporation wasted Rs 350 crore taxpayers money on the telecast of the Commonwealth Games held last October, the Prime Minister appointed Shunglu panel has concluded in its first report.
The report, contents of which were reported earlier by HT, made public on Tuesday, has recommended registration of criminal cases against suspended Prasar Bharti CEO BS Lalli and Doordarshan director general Aruna Sharma.
The panel has indicted them for their "active collusion with the UK-based company, SIS Live, helping it to earn a profit of around R135 crore by outsourcing work to its Indian arm through an illegal contract."
The 66-page report supported by documents running into a nearly 1,000 pages has concluded :"Even after spending R350 crore as host broadcaster, Prasar Bharti, today neither possesses adequate number of equipment nor is its staff trained and experienced to handle similar jobs in future."
The panel has stated that if the country were to host any major international sports event in future, "Prasar Bharti may again have to fall back upon foreign consultants and broadcasting companies again."
In further trouble for Lalli and Sharma, the Prime Minister's Office in a statement said the PM had taken a "serious view" of the findings and has asked the cabinet secretary to recommend follow-up steps within a week.
"The responsibility for providing undue benefit to SIS LIVE and Zoom Communications is primarily that of the then CEO, Prasar Bharti and DG of DD. They cannot be recused from the acts of omission and commission," the report said.
The panel said Prasar Bharti awarded contracts for various host broadcasting without ensuring reasonableness of rates, overruling suggestions.
The technical staff of Doordarshan had confirmed their capacity and readiness to cover 10 out of 17 events in the Games way back in 2007.
Coverage of the remaining seven events and opening and closing ceremonines required specialisation, and it was proposed to be outsourced. But, Prasar Bharti abandoned plans without any reason for getting the 10 events covered by DD despite initiation of preliminary work with the assistance of an international consultant hired by the Organising Committee.