New Delhi: A sizeable chunk of Indian athletes are yet to get their full quota of daily allowance a week into the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Most of the 215 strong Indian contingent have spent more than 10 days without the full allowance which has been increased to USD 50 (INR 3000 approx) from USD 25 (INR 1500 approx). The squash squad including Saurav Ghosal and Dipika Pallikal have not been paid their dues at all while the TT players received half of the allowance just yesterday night.
"We have not got anything so far but we are told we should be getting the money soon," Ghosal, who became the first Indian to reach the semifinals of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, told PTI. Soumyajit Ghosh, part of the men`s table tennis side, said he received his 10-day allowance as per USD 25 and not the increased amount.
"We have got it for 10 days just yesterday. Don`t know much about the rest of the amount. Hopefully, we will get that later," said Ghosh, the reigning national champion. Sports Secretary Ajit Sharan explained the delay in the disbursement of daily allowance. "The allowance was doubled from USD 25 to USD 50 on Friday after we got approval from the finance ministry. However, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has not yet opened account there (in Glasgow) so all money could not be transferred," Sharan told PTI.
"But there is nothing to worry. All the athletes will get their due allowance. The players are at the Games Village and every need of theirs will be taken care of. There is no need to worry as everyone will get their entitled sanctioned allowance," he assured. Indian contingent`s chef de mission in Glasgow, Raj Singh, could not be reached for comments. Squash star Dipika Pallikal said not getting the dues on time was not proving to be much of a hassle though it would be better if they get it on time.
"We are staying at the Games Village so we really don`t need to spend on anything there. We are told that we would be getting our dues soon. It has not been an issue so far but it is always better if things are done on time," said Pallikal, the first Indian to break into the world`s top-10.
A secretary general of a national sports federation said there was no chance of players` allowances being misused. "Everything is accounted for. The ministry gives the exact funds to the IOA at all big sporting events. The players are required to sign at the time of payment and all of them know how much they are entitled to. It is only a matter of time before they get all their money," said the official.
"As per the norm, the officials accompanying the team get 25 percent of the allowance received by players and coaches," the official further added.