Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs Ajay Maken has termed “unfair” the use of diplomatic channels by international companies involved in organising the Commonwealth Games here in October last to pressure the government into making payments for dues. All dues would be cleared after clearance from the investigating agencies, Mr. Maken said on Wednesday.
“The government is being pressured through various diplomatic channels by some international companies to get their unpaid dues. It is not fair on their part as we are ready to pay their dues but are waiting for green signal from investigating agencies, which are probing irregularities in the conduct of the Games,” he said.
Mr. Maken pointed out that the companies that did not come under the scanner of the investigating agencies were paid their dues by the Organising Committee. “We are following the rule of the law and cannot just make unilateral decisions on the issue as various probes are in progress and a verification process has been put into action. We will certainly work towards a positive resolution of the issue but this cannot be done under undue pressure,” he said.
As many as eight countries recently lodged official complaints with the Union government over non-payment of dues amounting to $74 million. A letter, jointly signed by the top diplomats of Australia, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands, warned the government that putting off the issue of payment of dues any further might affect future investments in India. They wanted the Union government to pay back for broken contracts and equipment still stuck in the Customs since the Games.
They also complained about unpaid fees for organising the opening and closing ceremonies.
Keywords: Commonwealth Games