Former CWG OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi.The Shunglu committee report that slammed the Suresh Kalmadi led Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) for “deliberately” missing out on revenue earning potential owing to sheer mismanagement is not without some reason. Even the OC itself, in its last executive board meeting on March 31 after a review of the revenue collection, came to realise that it had “been a loss making event”.The OC reviewed the revenue collection from its TV rights, licencing and merchandise, ticketing and some other contracts in the meeting where it found that the much talked about “ticketing fiasco” could earn only 35 per cent of the projected revenue earnings.The earning projected from ticket sale was put at Rs 90-100 crore but in the end, the OC could only manage to gain Rs 39 crore.”It is clear from our internal assessment as well as from the Shunglu panel report that there were more non-revenue tickets than the revenue earning tickets. A total of 11.40 lakh tickets were printed.”Worse out of the non-revenue tickets printed, almost 81 per cent went as complimentary and a very few 19 per cent were actually used for distribution to sports related ticket seekers such as for accreditation,” a senior OC officer said.”It is really a waste of the tax payers’ money when 61 per cent of the complimentary ticket holders did not attend the Games,” the officer added.Several e-mails discovered by the Shunglu committee indicate a clear attempt by the ticketing wing director Monica Jolly “to hold back tickets for sale to general public while giving precedence to the issue of complimentary tickets.”advertisementIn one such e-mail from Jolly to the Indian Railways Catering & Tourism Corporation (dated May 17, 2010) she wrote:”…make sure that 50 per cent of the inventory is only on sale at any given point of time as desired by the chairman (Kalmadi).””The merchandise wing, that had earlier projected over Rs 50 crore in earnings from the sale of CWG items, could only earn a near zero revenue.”In fact, the company having the contract to sell the merchandise had given two cheques of Rs 1 and Rs 2 crore in the initial stage, but both the cheques bounced. Now we are fighting a case against the company,” Jarnail Singh, chief executive officer of the OC, said.Even the revenue earned from the TV rights of the Games in the country is “actually in the negative.” Singh explained:”Under the profit sharing agreement with the host broadcaster Prasar Bharati, we were left to divide the total revenue of Rs 41 crore in 60:40 ratio. But as the OC already owed over Rs 20 crore to broadcaster, it has to actually pay back Rs 13.56 crore.”The board meeting also raised concern over some missing links in their account books.”We have no clue about the 100-odd plaques (CWG mementoes), which were to be presented at a special Commonwealth Nations Federation conference in Trinidad and Tobago in December 2009.We actually made about 180 plaques at a cost of `11,000 each. We have the record for just 79 of these and are still trying to locate the rest,” an officer said.Still, an interesting fact is that despite all these “loss making” ventures by the OC top brass, most of whom are now under scanner or behind bars, the OC still has Rs 160 crore left in its account from the total (Rs 1,813 crore) it got from the government for the Games.One may wonder why OC chief Kalmadi was pressing for `723 crore over and above the sanctioned amount a month before the Games. It seems the government was wise enough to reject it outright.
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