There's confusion over the sanction of Rs 7.5 crore as funds for a bicycle-technology research project being partially funded by United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).
While some members of United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association (UCPMA) had earlier claimed that funds had been sanctioned for the project, officials of UNIDO, a United Nations body, and district industries centre (DIC) have said that no money had been sanctioned.
During UCPMA elections, its former president, Gurmeet Singh Kular, and Manjinder Singh Sachdeva, president of Bicycle Research and Development Organisation (BRADO), a special purpose vehicle formed for the project's execution, had been claiming that Rs 7.50 crore had been sanctioned for the project. But, contacted, national officer of UNIDO in India Deepak Balani said that the project still required formal approval of the union ministry of commerce and industry. "The file for the project has been with the ministry for a year now. It is taking time as several formalities need to be met," he said.
DIC general manager Mahesh Khanna too said that no funds had been allocated. Under the project, ministry of industry and commerce will contribute Rs 5.4 crore through UNIDO, Rs 60 lakh will be contributed by members of SPV, and Punjab government will pay Rs 1.50 crore.
The project involves research and development for improving technology for the city's bicycle industry with an eye to compete with China, and to set up testing facility for cycle industry and design upgradation to give locally produced cycle's a better look and make them more durable.
Kular maintained that some amount had been sanctioned. "Rs 3.96 crore has already been given to the centre that is carrying out research and development under the project," he said. He claimed that the matter was recorded in the minutes of the meeting that was held in the presence of BRADO office-bearers and general manager of the research centre.
However, the general manager of the research centre, Paramjit Singh, said no such amount had been sanctioned. He said that he did not even have an idea of the same being recorded in the minutes of the meeting held with industrialists. Sachdeva could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.