Dues to 36 foreign companies cleared, says CWG OC

New Delhi: The embattled organising committee
of the Delhi Commonwealth Games on Tuesday claimed that it has
cleared dues amounting to Rs 111.84 crore to 36 of the 45
foreign companies involved with the conduct of the event held
last year.

The remaining nine companies have already been paid Rs
191.11 crore and a balance amount to the tune of Rs 17.80
crore has been withheld owing to non-performance of
contractual obligations, the OC, which is facing allegations
of widescale corruption, said.

The companies which have got their dues include eight
vendors to whom payments have been made between January 24 to
January 31.

In addition, there are 71 Commonwealth Games Associations
(CGAs) to whom a total travel grant to the tune of Rs 16.74
crore was payable. Out of these, the OC said, 64 CGAs have
been paid Rs 14.95 crore, and the balance payment of Rs 1.79
crore to the seven remaining associations will be released by
February 7.

Quite a few companies from Australia and England
threatened to sue the CWG organisers for non-payment of
pending dues running into millions of dollars.

Reports of a USD three million-plus class action emerged
at a time when India`s foreign minister S M Krishna visited
Australia and the issue figured prominently in Krishna`s talks
with his Australian counterpart Kevin Rudd.

The claims were largely linked to the opening and closing
ceremonies and Australian firms said they were upset with the
OC`s refusal to settle disputes.

The OC countered that most payments were complete and
those awaiting disposal had to do with "under performance and
contractual obligations".

Newly elected sports minister Ajay Maken then directed
government nominees in the OC to thoroughly verify unpaid dues
and make all the legitimate payments within 10 days.

The payment disputes lingered for more than three months
after the October 3 to 14 Games. Australian firms such as
Howard and Sons, Norwest and a consultant for the ceremonies
had claimed that doing business in India was an arbitrary and
risk-laden affair.

Agency reports said events organiser Ric Birch had
commissioned a law firm for a multi-million dollar lawsuit
that would involve four large Australian firms including his
Spectak Productions and fireworks company Howard & Sons.

The companies whose payments have been released are Swiss
Timing, Infostrade Sports, K Events SRL, Mark Fisher, Great
Big Event, Spectek Production, Production Resource Group, EKS
Workforce and E&Y Workforce (Consortium with EKS).