PMO approved cost escalations for CWG 5 times: BJP

Upping its ante on CWG irregularities, BJP Wednesday claimed that the PMO and the Union Cabinet approved cost escalations for Games projects five times between 2007 and 2009.

New Delhi: Upping its ante on CWG
irregularities, BJP Wednesday claimed that the PMO and the Union
Cabinet approved cost escalations for Games projects five
times between 2007 and 2009, hiking the expenditure involved
from Rs 1000 crore to over Rs 2,400 crore.

"The Cabinet approved Rs 1000 crore budget in its
meeting on March 15, 2007. The revised cost estimate passed by
the Cabinet stood at Rs 2,460 crore on March 5, 2009," party
President Nitin Gadkari said in the statement here quoting
from Cabinet notes.

He claimed the documents mention the role of the Prime
Minister`s Office, Cabinet, Group of Ministers, Expenditure
Finance Committee (EFC) and the Ministries concerned.

He said all major proposals were first processed by
the concerned ministries, then by the EFC, then by the PMO and
later approved by the Cabinet.

"The Commonwealth Games were alloted to Delhi on
November 11, 2003, but detailed estimates were considered and
approved by the Cabinet on March 15, 2007," he said.

Gadkari claimed that since then the PMO, GoM, EFC and
the Cabinet have approved all the cost escalations.

Addressing the media last month, he had alleged that
the Union Cabinet did not try to verify the reasons behind the
escalating costs.

"All types of increase in estimates were approved by the
Cabinet sub-committee and the PMO. Before approving (the
inflated cost), why they did not verify," Gadkari had said
wondering "whether the whole cabinet is responsible for the
chaos and corruption in CWG preparations."

Citing various examples of cost escalations, the BJP
leader claimed that while the original tender conditions were
for specific items, the escalation was granted for the
composite work.

"Considerable increase in the approved cost of Rs 1000
crore (cleared by the Cabinet in 2007)...as the
tenders/quotation was for composite works, the cost escalation
could not be identified with specific provisions," according
to a note by the Secretary, EFC mentioned in the BJP
statement.

PTI

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