Sunday, February 1, 2009

Economic Meltdown Hits Common Wealth Games Preparation

Economic Meltdown Hits Common Wealth Games Preparation Facing a dip in revenue generation in the wake of global economic meltdown, the Delhi Government has approached the Centre for additional funding to complete various projects related to the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Senior officials in the Delhi Government said there has been a sharp dip in revenue collection caused mainly by decline in consumption of goods due to the economic crisis. “The collection of VAT has been affected due to the slump in consumer market,” a senior official said.

The official said it would be impossible for the government to complete the projects if the Centre does not provide additional funding.

In a meeting with Planning Commission Deputy Chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia last week, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had sought Rs 500 crore assistance to complete various projects related to the Games.

The official said the revenue collection has been hit also because of the slump in the real estate sector as the Government collects revenue through registration of properties.

“We had requested the Central Government to give us Rs 3,500 crore as additional financial assistance,” he said.

According to initial government figure, around Rs 7,900 crore would be the total expenditure on the Commonwealth Games.

The official said the cost of the projects is going up as the prices of raw materials like steel and cement have increased.

Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi, who is also chairman of the Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee, a couple of days back had said the budget for the mega-event will be increased in view of the financial crisis.