Shunglu finds lapses in CWG appointment of Shashi Tharoor

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Shashi Tharoor
New Delhi, Jun 19: The Shunglu Committee has found irregularities in the appointment of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor as an international consultant to advise Commonwealth Games Organising Committee about host of activities related to the sporting event.

The Committee has found that "prices were dictated" at Tharoor's term for his engagement with the Games organising body.

"In the case of catering consultant Ajay Grover and in case of another consultant Shashi Tharoor, prices were dictated at their terms," the Shunglu Committee noted in its fifth report on the OC which was submitted to the Prime Minister's Office.

The report said Tharoor charged USD 30,000 (approximately Rs 13 lakh) as attendance fees for 12 days during Sept 2008 and Jan 2009.

It cited a copy of a letter written to an OC functionary, dated July 25, 2008 purportedly from Tharoor indicating his fees as USD 2,500 per day, local travel arrangements, first class air travel, 5 star hotel accommodation including all facilities.

Accordingly, a proposal was made by Ramesh Babu, one of the OC office bearers, on July 28, 2010 for consideration.

The Executive Management Committee had on July 31, 2008 approved appointment of Tharoor accepting all his conditions to advise OC concerning engaging the city, national and international communities from time to time along with Chairman of Organising Committee CWG 2010.

Tharoor is a Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram. "When Shashi Tharoor was contacted for details of his travels in connection with the consultancy, he informed on February 4, 2011 inter alia that ''I was consultant for international and national engagement and promotion of the youth games, not the CWG itself'' and that ''the consultancy fee charged for was token sum, far below the fee that I used to command per speech as a speaker''," the report said.

He was paid USD 26,629 (about Rs 11 lakh) through cheque after deduction of tax on July 6, 2009. An additional Rs 4.34 lakh was paid for his airfare.

"Since only the copies of these above mentioned letters were provided, the management was requested to provide the original letters from Tharoor.

"Besides, management was requested to provide a copy of the consultancy contract with the terms of references and deliverables and the functional area head to whom he was attached and if any document was prepared by him as part of the consultancy contract. Till the date of this report, these documents have not been furnished," Shunglu said in his report.

The report, containing relevant extracts of findings, has been sent to Sports Ministry for necessary action.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had on Oct 25 last year appointed a committee under the chairmanship of former Comptroller and Auditor General V K Shunglu to look into alleged corruption in organising the last year's Commonwealth Games.

PTI

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