NTPC, PowerGrid pull out of CWG sponsorship



NTPC, PowerGrid pull out of CWG sponsorship New Delhi: The crisis-riden CWG has received a further jolt with two power PSUs, NTPC and PowerGrid, deciding to hold back their Rs 40 crore sponsorship money out of a combined committed sum of Rs 60 crore for the event.

NTPC, which has already given Rs 20 crore in February out of the committed Rs 50 crore sponsorship deal, is also asking for an audit by a government appointed agency for the sum it has paid to the CWG organising committee.

The Board of the state-run power producer on its meeting on Wednesday decided to withdraw any further sponsorship for the Games to be held here during October 3-14 this year.

"Yes, we have decided to stop it (sponsorship) further," NTPC Chairman and Managing Director R S Sharma said when asked to comment on the firm's sponsorship in the wake of numerous reports of financial irregularities in the CWG organizing committee.

Demanding an audit for the sum it has already given, he said: "We want a government agency to do the audit."

Another power public sector unit PowerGrid Corporation, which had committed to sponsor Rs 10 crore for the event, has also taken a U-turn.

"Yes, we have decided not to give any money for the Commonwealth Games," PowerGrid CMD S K Chaturvedi said.

Central Bank of India has already contributed Rs 50 crore to the Games, while the Indian Railways made a budgetary provision of Rs 100 crore but was reported to be rethinking its stand after reports of Australian sports marketing firm SMAM receiving commissions.

Corruption allegations against the CWG organizing committee erupted with a Central Vigilance Commission report pointing out financial bungling in handing of construction and other contracts of the Games last month.

Earlier this month, three official of the CWG organizing committee, T S Darbari (joint director general), Sanjay Mahindroo (deputy-director general) and M Jeychgandran (treasurer), were sacked, along with the Australian firm SMAM.

Private players have already decided to stay away from the Games. LG Electronics India Ltd (LGEIL) Head of Sales Amitabh Tiwari had said the marketing of the Games was not handled professionally.

"We have not been approached in such a way that it can evoke response," Tiwari had said. LGEIL is one of the big advertisers on sporting events, including cricket events such as the IPL.

Godrej also said it is staying away from the CWG. "We are not associated with the Commonwealth Games, as this is not our target audience," Godrej Group Chairman Adi Godrej had said.

PTI