New Delhi: Not happy with the attitude of
sacked Commonwealth Games OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi, then
Sports Minister Mani Shanker Aiyar had sought to relieve his
ministry from channelling funds for the sporting extravaganza.
On December 5, 2007, Aiyar had written to then Finance
Minister P Chidambaram that the Sports Ministry was "rarely"
getting information about the fund utilisation by the
Organising Committee from it.
"Our letter (to OC)...asked for some requirements
remains unanswered. But the chairman, OC seems to have given
some information to you directly on their funds requirement
which has led you to advise use to release the balance of Rs
70.21 crore in five monthly instalments during the remaining
part of the financial year. The Ministry of Finance`s letter
of November 21, 2007 also does not enlighten us on the basis
of these monthly releases," Aiyar wrote to Chidambaram.
In the letter made public under the RTI Act, Aiyar
wrote that the 0C chairman continuously highlighted the fact
that the government was giving merely a loan to the OC which
they are obliged to return with interest.
"And therefore Chairman OC insists that the funds
should be released to him as per annual phasing approved by
the Cabinet with no further questions asked," Aiyar said.
In the letter accessed by activist S C Agrawal, Aiyar
requested the then finance minister to consider the
"possibility of relieving" his ministry from releasing
balance of loan amount saying "the finance ministry is much
better placed than we are to monitor compliance with General
Finance Rules and other financial prudence norms."
"It seems our following the GFRs and other financial
prudence norms is leading to acrimony and making our position
rather invidious. After all as Chairman OC puts it, it is a
loan to OC, repayable with interest. The quantum is Rs 767
crore and the OC is an asset-less organisation," he said.