New Delhi: With allegations of corruption
plaguing the Commonwealth Games (CWG), Railway Minister Mamata
Banerjee today said Rs 100 crore promised by her ministry for
the event would be given only after ascertaining "credentials"
of the expenditure.
"This is an important issue. Rs 100 crore was promised in
the Railway Budget. But we have not yet worked out the
modalities of how the funds should be given for CWG. We will
give it only after verifying the credentials of the games`
expenditure," Banerjee told the Lok Sabha.
Intervening during a debate on the Supplementary Demands
for Grants for her ministry, she said the commitment of Rs 100
crore had been made by her in the Railway Budget presented
She was responding to questions raised by Harin Pathak
(BJP) on the prudence of apportioning railway funds for the
CWG in the wake of allegations of corruption in the CWG
preparations coming to the fore in the recent days.
Pathak, who initiated the debate, said though the CWG was
a matter of pride for the country and its dignity was at stake
to hold the event successfully, complaints of misuse of funds
had raised questions over why Railway money should go to the
Noting that some PSUs were withdrawing their sponsorship
for the CWG and lakhs of crores were to be spent for the
games, he said the allegations had raised suspicions that
funds were being diverted to the coffers of some individuals.
"Since the PSUs are withdrawing sponsorships, the CWG
organising committee has identified Railways, State Bank of
India and Air India to get the funds for the games. The
allegations of corruption has raised suspicion that the funds
meant for the games are diverted for personal gain," he said.
Pathak said though Banerjee was "most-wanted" in West
Bengal and the state was "waiting" for her, but as Railway
Minister she should focus on the work in Delhi too.
Pointing out that Banerjee had promised a white paper on
the financial state of the Railways after her predecessor Lalu
Prasad had declared it had Rs 90,000 crore surplus, Pathak
said the Minister had now informed that the surplus funds was
only Rs 39,500 crore.
"I now want to know where did the balance Rs 50,000 crore
go? This is not a small amount. Prasad went about delivering
lectures to IIT students and toured the world to give lessons
in management. Two different ministers of the same government
are contradicting each other. What is the truth, we want to
know," he said.