CWG broadcast deal under ED scanner

Last Updated: Sunday, February 13, 2011 - 09:56

New Delhi: Prasar Bharati`s Rs 246-crore
deal with a UK-based broadcast firm for the coverage of the
Commonwealth Games has now come under the scanner of the
Enforcement Directorate.

Official sources said the multi-crore deal struck with
SIS Live in UK is the latest of the various projects connected
with the CWG being scrutinised by the country`s premier agency
against money laundering and forex violations.

The latest move by the Directorate will bring under
scrutiny role of certain top officials of Prasar Bharati, they
said.

The ED has already sought information from the Income
Tax department, which had carried out a survey at the premises
of the local arm of the UK firm.

The deal came under scanner because the public
broadcaster entered into a Rs 246-crore agreement with SIS
Live for the broadcast of the sporting extravaganza and later,
the UK company sub-contracted the same to an Indian firm `Zoom
Communication` for just Rs 177 crore.

Sources said the I-T department had first raised the
red flag over the deal following scrutiny of sub-contract
papers. The ED is in the process of issuing summons in
connection with the case under the Foreign Exchange Management
Act (FEMA).

President Pratibha Patil had late last year ordered
suspension of Prasar Bharti`s controversial CEO B S Lalli.

Lalli, who assumed the post in December 2006, was
indicted by the Central Vigilance Commission which accused
him of breach of Parliamentary privilege, giving undue favours
to some broadcast companies and financial mismanagement.

The two-member Committee headed by former Comptroller
and Auditor General V K Shunglu, which went into alleged
financial irregularities in the CWG, has strongly indicted
suspended Lalli and Doordarshan Director General Aruna Sharma,
accusing them of "collusion" with the UK-based firm which
benefited Rs 135 crore in the broadcast deal.

The Committee said that based on documents available,
it has concluded that the actual cost of the contract awarded
to SIS Live was at best about Rs 111 crore, thus resulting in
a profit of at least Rs 135 crore for the UK-based company and
Zoom Communications.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, February 13, 2011 - 09:56

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