2007 Military Games spending unauthorised: CAG
New Delhi: Even as corruption allegations in the 2010 Commonwealth Games fly thick and fast, the 2007 Military World Games (MWG) organised by India has now come under the scanner of government auditors, who have raised questions over approval for the event’s entire expenditure.
In its report to Parliament on Friday, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) said the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) had organised the 4th edition of the MWG “without obtaining the approval of the competent authority for the entire expenditure” worth Rs 138 crore.
India hosted the WMG, a multi-sport event for military men and women, in Hyderabad in 2007 and SSCB had made the proposal to host it in September 2003, which was given ‘in principle’ approval by the Defence Ministry at an estimated cost of Rs 20.32 crore.
In November 2005, the world military sports body had awarded the games to India and in June 2006, the Defence Ministry sanctioned Rs 40 crore for the MWG.
In March 2007, the ministry also sanctioned Rs 10 crore for paying the Andhra Pradesh government for the facilities they would provide for the games and another Rs 19 crore were given by Defence PSUs in October 2007.
“Projects exceeding Rs 100 crore require the approval of the Cabinet. Although the SSCB in January 2006 required funds in excess of Rs 100 crore for the conduct of WMG, a proposal omitting work services was put up to the Ministry for only Rs 40 crore. Interestingly, sanctions amounting to Rs 138 crore in total were issued for WMG,” the report noted.
It said the works services were sanctioned by according 37 piece-meal sanctions costing Rs 78 crore from 2006 onwards.
The SSCB received Rs 4.76 crore for hosting extra contingents of world military sports body and this was diverted to non-public fund between September 2007 and June 2008.
“The money received from sponsors totalling Rs 84 lakh was spent by SSCB without the sanction of the ministry. Unspent money to the tune of Rs 7.21 crore was not deposited into government account. The principal amount and the interest (Rs 28.14 lakh) is still held by SSCB in private banks with any authority,” the report said.
Noting that Rs 10 crore was paid to AP government in advance in July 2007 without any formal agreement for the services to be provided by it, it said this resulted in the government not furnishing any bills to the SSCB.
“Audit also noticed that the electricity charges were estimated at the rate of Rs 16 per unit for 16 hours utilisation per day against a rate of Rs 6.30 per unit which is the commercial rate applicable in Andhra Pradesh,” it said.
The CAG slammed the Defence Ministry for failing to monitor the expenses incurred on MWG and the unspent amount not yet being credited to the government account.