Choosing to go public in order to project the affairs of the OC as transparent, an angry Kalmadi claimed that ‘‘every pie in the OC has been accounted for’’. He added: ‘‘The fact that the OC has sought a VAT refund of 61,419 pounds from the UK government shows that we have nothing to hide.’’
According to the Times Now report, the alleged irregularities came to light during a scrutiny when OC asked for a VAT refund in March 2010 for payments to AM Films.
Kalmadi said the budget for the launch of the Queen’s Baton 2010 Delhi on October 29 last year was approved by the executive board of the OC and the necessary permissions for incurring the expenditure in foreign currency were taken from Reserve Bank of India. ‘‘All the remittances were made against this clearance and no payments were made after October 30, 2009,’’ he said.
He claimed that the executive board of the OC cleared a budget of Rs 13 crore for the function and only Rs 6 crore was spent. ‘‘We saved money from the function budget,’’ he asserted.
Rebutting the allegation that the OC transfers 25,000 pounds every month to AM Films for costume design, Kalmadi said, ‘‘It is all false and baseless, fabricated, prejudiced, frivolous and vindictive propaganda. These transactions do not exist.’’
‘‘OC appointed Jack Morton Worldwide through a global tender process as the event management company to organize the Queen’s Baton Relay launch ceremony in London. It also appointed South Asia Academy, UK, to organise the cultural programme during the launch,’’ Kalmadi said in his statement. ‘‘AM Cars and Vans a company empanelled by the high commission of India in London was appointed for all the transportation requirements on the rates approved by the high commission,’’ Kalmadi claimed.
His statement said that on October 23 last year, during a meeting chaired by Tim Owen, Westminster City Council, and attended by the officials of Metropolitan Police, London Traffic Control Centre, London Fire Brigade, ambulance services and Buckingham Palace officials, they were told that additional items like mobile video screens, portable toilets, ambulances, barricades etc. had to be placed at the launch site without which the authorities would not allow holding of the programme.
‘The OC agreed to arrange all the items and video screens were procured from AM Films Ltd at 146,868.80 pounds. AM Cars and Vans offered to help through its associate company, AM Films Ltd. Both companies delivered all the requirements to the OC’s satisfaction. The money to AM Films was paid through bank transfer from Delhi with due approvals. The other items like mobile toilets and barricades were got through AM Cars and Vans,’’ Kalmadi said.
Asked why a company was not chosen for these jobs through a tender as is usually done, Kalmadi claimed the OC was asked to arrange for these things at a short notice and there was no time to float a tender.