Following threats by the state-owned sponsors to withhold further disbursal of funds towards the sponsorship of the Commonwealth Games 2010, the Games organizing committee (OC) is making all out efforts to woo the existing sponsors besides seeking the government's help to get new ones for this mega event.
The Railways, with a commitment of Rs 100 crore as the main sponsor, NTPC (Rs 50 crore) and Powergrid (Rs 10 crore) as co-sponsors had last week threatened to pull their sponsorships.
Stung, the OC is making desperate efforts to control the damage. Both NTPC and the Railways confirmed to the Hindustan Times that they have received verbal assurances from the OC over "no mis-use of public funds going as commissions to any individual or foreign and domestic organisations."
"We have been told by them (OC) that letters giving written commitments that sponsorship amounts would be used only for the bona fide objectives of the Games, will be issued by Tuesday (August 10)," said a senior NTPC official.
NTPC, had on August 4, asked the OC chairman, Suresh Kalmadi for a written commitment on the appropriate usage of funds along with the scrutiny of funds by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).
While NTPC, which has withheld Rs 30 crore out of the Rs 50 crore, said it will release the rest after a written confirmation from the OC, Powergrid still sounded reluctant over "any disbursal of funds".
An official in the Railways also said no disbursal of sponsorship amounts will be made till written commitments are received from the OC.
PSU sources in SAIL and BHEL also disclosed that fresh efforts are being made by the sports ministry through the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE)—the government body overseeing functioning of all PSUs—to get more PSUs to sponsor the Games.
The DPE, which had earlier written to the PSUs to support the Games, had later retracted its letter after allegations over the misuse of funds by the OC.
However, the sports ministry has again approached the DPE to ask the PSUs to support the Games. "While DPE is not forcing us and no fresh directives have come from it, verbally we have been told to support the games in light of the ongoing negative sentiments," said two PSU officials.
"We were under tremendous pressure for a big sponsorship amount but we have not taken any decision," confirmed a senior SAIL management official.
"These are difficult times. We need to motivate our officials as our prime objective is to hold a successful Games. We can't turn back now. I just pray everything goes off well."
With eight weeks to go, the Games are still running of its target by Rs 600-700 crore.