The Public Accounts Committee has adopted a 2010 Commonwealth Games report that criticised the PMO of Manmohan Singh over the appointment of Suresh Kalmadi as the Chairman of the games’ Organising Committee despite objections from the then Sports Minister. It also rapped the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) over the delay in preparing reports about the progress of various projects related to the conduct of the Games.
The PMO, in 2006, had sought reports about the preparations of the Games, but the first status report on the progress of the preparations for the CWG was generated two years later in 2008, after the Prime Minister’s direction, the panel observed.
The PMO is duty bound to ensure that instructions of the Prime Minister are followed by all ministries/departments, it added.
“The Committee, therefore, reiterate that when it comes to directions of the Prime Minister pertaining to projects of utmost national importance, the PMO, instead of shifting responsibilities, should have ensured their effective followup and timely implementation,” the PAC said in the report.
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It also alleged that Kalmadi, the Chairman of the then Organising Committee (OC) of CWG, of manipulating the system and said his appointment was objected by the then Sports Minister.
The panel also noted that “the President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) was appointed as the Chairman, Organising Committee (OC) on a recommendation of the PMO in December 2004.”
“The committee has not an iota of doubt that the imprudent decision to appoint Shri Kalmadi as the Chairman, OC despite serious objections from the erstwhile sports minister cost dear as it facilitated the conversion of the originally envisaged government-owned OC into a body outside the government control, without commensurate accountability to the government,” it added.
The report further said that it is evident that the lobbying and insistence of Kalmadi far outweighed the concerns expressed by the then Sports Minister.
The report has been adopted by the PAC, chaired by Congress leader K V Thomas, but it is yet to be tabled in the Parliament, which is left for the new panel led by another Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge.