The Group of Ministers (GoM) overseeing implementation of the Shunglu committee report has set a one-month deadline for the Information and Broadcasting ministry to complete vigilance probes into the award of coverage of contracts for last year’s Commonwealth Games.
The ministry had earlier told the GoM, headed by defence minister AK Antony, that Prasar Bharati’s chief vigilance officer was conducting inquiries on some of the findings of the Shunglu Panel including circumstances in which advantages were given to SIS Live, the company awarded the contract for production and coverage of the Games.
A government source said the GoM was informed that Prasar Bharati had already retained nearly 40% of the total payment due to SIS Live and encashed 10% performance guarantee.
The I&B ministry also indicated that there was scope to recover any wrongful loss caused to government if the veracity of allegations is established.
Insisting that the idea behind the GoM was not to slow down action being taken against those found guilty, government sources said the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had made it clear early in the day that the GoM would not get into action already being taken. In fact, sources said, cabinet secretary Ajit Kumar Seth made conveyed Singh’s directions at the GoM’s first meeting.