New Delhi: A day after Sports Minister Ajay Maken directed the payment of all `legitimate` dues related to the 2010 Commonwealth Games, British High Commissioner Richard Stagg Friday asked for expediting payment of Rs 96 crore (USD 21 million) to broadcaster SIS Live.
“SIS Live fulfilled its contractual obligations, against which all payments should have been made by now. The company is owed Rs 96 crore,” the British envoy said. `It is not right that the company should be penalised in this way. We look forward to early resolution of this matter,` the envoy added.
“We are pursuing this matter with extreme urgency. SIS Live is a leading British broadcaster with over seventy years` experience of covering major international sporting events,` the envoy said. He stressed that SIS Live`s coverage of the Delhi Commonwealth Games was widely praised as `first-class.”
“SIS Live`s coverage of the Delhi Commonwealth Games was widely praised as first-class. The quality of the production captured the very essence of the spectacular opening and closing ceremonies and the Games themselves. It provided great enjoyment for Indian and international audiences alike,” the statement said.
Stagg`s criticism of the payment delay came a day after newly-appointed Sports Minister Maken asked the government nominees in the CWG OC to verify all the outstanding dues and ordered that `legitimate` payments be made within 10 days to all the firms.
“It has been three months since the CWG happened. If we delay it more, then there will be more problems. I want to solve this issue within this timeframe. This is my first directive after taking charge as the sports minister,” Maken had said.
Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, during his talks with his Indian counterpart S M Krishna, had raised the issue of unpaid bills worth millions of dollars of Australian firms for their work during the Commonwealth Games.
“It has been brought to my notice... As soon as I go back, I will take it up with the ministry of sports,” Krishna had said in Melbourne Thursday.
An Australian company which had conducted the CWG opening and closing ceremonies, had also threatened to file a lawsuit over the delay in payment of outstanding dues.