Group of Ministers to meet tomorrow

New Delhi: The Group of Ministers for the Commonwealth Games, which has now been empowered to take all necessary decicions for the smooth conduct of the event, will meet here tomorrow to take stock of the preparations in the wake of the corruption scandals that have rocked the event.

It will be the first meeting of the Group of Ministers after the alleged corruption scandals and comes a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s emergency review meeting on the Games.

The Group of Ministers, headed by Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy, had been directed by the Prime Minister to meet immediately and frequently thereafter.

Apart from Reddy, Sports Minister MS Gill, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi are among those who will be present at the meeting.

The Cabinet Secretary was also directed to liaise closely with the Group of Ministers to ensure "effective coordination" among all the authorites concerned.

At the meeting, the GoM was empowered to take all decisions necessary for the smooth conduct of the Games and refer any matter that may require further consideration to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for a final decision.

"All the facilities must meet international standards," the Prime Minister underlined and expressed confidence that the ongoing preparations supervised directly the GoM would enable the Games to be conducted smoothly and in a befitting manner", the PMO said in a statement.

The Cabinet will be briefed on the state of preparations on a weekly basis, the statement added.