Indian Gov. Claim Unfair Pressure from CWG Companies

March 16, 2011

The Indian Government has hit back at countries demanding late payment for work carried out by their companies for last year’s Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, claiming that they will not be pressurised.

An eight-long list of countries have written to Indian authorities demanding that the situation is resolved and warned that it could affect investment there if it is not.

Ajay Maken, India’s Sports Minister who dismissed the Games chief organisers Suresh Kalmadi and Lalit Bhanot under allegations of corruption, said that they will only pay firms that are not under investigation as part of the wider probe linked to the Games.

Maken stated: “Efforts are being made to put pressure through diplomatic channels. It’s not fair. Companies not under the scanner have been paid money.”

Maken warned that any companies being investigated by the Central Beureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Indian tax authorities will not be paid until they have been cleared, stating: “We will not make payment because payment will be made only to companies on which we are 100 per cent satisfied on their work.”

Infostrada Sports, the Dutch company contracted to provide media services during the Games, are the latest high-profile international firm to become caught up in the mess, disputing charges of “non-performance” and demanding immediate payment of US$618,000.

The company’s chief executive Philip Hennemann said in a statement: “Infostrada Sports calls on the Organising Committee and the Indian Government to provide an open and detailed reasoning for the non-payment and demands an end to the inconsistent, incomplete comments that continue to create a negative impression about the services delivered by Infostrada Sports and the integrity of our company.”

Infostrada Sports, which had performed similar roles at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and are due to work on London 2012, was contracted for $1.9m.

But the Organising Committee have since claimed they were overpaid, with Hennemann adding: “Infostrada Sports once again refutes all allegations that it was overpaid, under-performed or under-delivered.

“The amount we were contracted for Delhi was smaller than that we received for large multi-sport events with a full service delivery such as the Olympic Games in Beijing $2.7m or the Asian Games in Doha $4.2m.

“In Delhi, we had more than 130 contracted persons and paid people involved in the operations, of which 76 were foreigners.

“It is the only event in the list with a full scope service that we had to arrange our own hotels and flights. 

“In Beijing, these costs were paid by the Organising Committee. 

“We paid over €250,000 (£217,000/$350,000) for flights and accommodation alone in Delhi.” 

Kalmadi, meanwhile, was questioned for the third time, for nine hours by the CBI in connection with the alleged irregularities during the Games but insisted: “I am ready to come here everyday.

“I have told the CBI that I will fully cooperate with the CBI or any other investigating agency. Accordingly I have come here today and I have given all answers to the best of my satisfaction. I have nothing more to say.”