The CWG Games are over. Now its time to do the clean up act – An investigation into the commonwealth LOOT of the tax-payer’s money!
Yet, there were too many organizational goof-ups, systemic failures and over-statement of accounts which need a thorough post-mortem now. A comprehensive enquiry is the need of the hour to examine the discrepancies in the fund allocation to various projects which were hit by exorbitant cost escalations.
However, a fact remains that no amount of investigation will bring back the lost money of the tax-payers. A bigger question is – how can the country’s multi-crore wealth go virtually unaccounted without approval and knowledge of the top government agencies?
We have distinction of having the country’s top-most economist as our prime minister and Asia’s best finance minister to guard and manage our precious resources. Yet thousands of crores of country’s wealth has gone down the drain from under the eyes of the regulators in the name of unaccountability and cost escalation.
If this is the kind of loot going on in the open; the robbery prevailing behind the closed doors could just be mind-boggling and beyond the realms of imagination. Probably, that’s the reason why politics is the most sought after (yet infamous) field of occupation for the corrupted leaders.
The Central Vigilance Commission investigating in corruptions involved during the preparation of Commonwealth Games have claimed to establish the over-hyped prices projected and paid in the bills to various intermediaries, contractors and service providers.
As expenses incurred on the CWG turn into a nation-wide debate, here is some number crunching for you – the estimates for the expenditure during the Melbourne CWG 2006 edition for various different projects came at around Rs.5000 crore and that for Bejing Olympics 2008 stood at Rs. 28000 crore.
Now compare the same set of figures with an expenditure of Rs. 70000 crore involved in Delhi CWG. Agreed that the infrastructure and manpower costs might have jumped drastically over the last 2-3 years; but does that justify such a manifold bill?
BJP chief Nitin Gadkari has alleged that the benami financial deals took place in the CWG projects through the Mauritius route and out of Rs. 70000 crore spent on the Games, only half the said amount was spent on India sportspersons.
Here are some startling allegations coming out of the closet:
- It is estimated that the expenditure bills have been inflated by 30% of the actual value of services or commodities procured.
- The Income Tax department is scrutinizing financial documents relating to the broadcast rights for the CWG following charges of tax evasion.
- The Central Vigilance Commission is examining 11 major project tenders which were awarded at artificially hiked rates causing a loss of over Rs.500 crore.
- The Enforcement Directorate is looking into a case of alleged violation for foreign exchange regulations related to the Queen Baton Relay in London.
- Infrastructure developer Emaar-MGF is in the dock for alleged irregularities in the construction of the CGW Village in Delhi.
- The CWG Organising Committee head office being burglarized several times to steal or destruct the data which is being probed.
Will this investigation turn out to be yet another probe and be buried into the ground?