New Delhi, Jan 24 (Agencies): Australian Trade Minister Craig Emerson on Monday raised the issue of non-payment of dues to Australian companies for Commonwealth Games-related work with his Indian counterpart Anand Sharma on the sidelines of the Partnership Summit in Mumbai.

The bilateral talks between the two ministers came on a day when embattled Suresh Kalmadi was sacked as the Chairman of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee in the interest of an impartial probe.

Kalmadi's close aid Lalit Bhanot was also removed as the Secretary General of the OC with immediate effect.

The decision to remove the top two officials was taken by the new Sports Minister Ajay Maken, who has given a ten-day ultimatum to the government nominees in the Organising
Committee to sort out the payment disputes regarding the Australian firms and ensure that all the legitimate bills are cleared.

Australia, had last week raised the issue with India of non-payment of bills to its companies, which claimed they were not paid for their work at last year's Delhi Games by the Organising Committee.

The payment issue also figured prominently during External Affairs Minister S M Krishna's bilateral meeting with his Australian counterpart Kevin Rudd last week, leaving the visiting Indian leader face an embarrassing situation.

Emerson arrived in the financial capital on Monday to discuss bilateral trade and economic issues ahead of Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma's visit to Australia later this
year for annual Joint Ministerial Commission trade talks.

Several Australian sporting bodies and event groups had claimed that they owed millions of dollars by the Delhi Commonwealth Games organisers.

Was 'taken aback' by Oz on CWG payments: Krishna

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on Monday said he was "taken aback" when his Australian counterpart Kevin Rudd raised the issue of non-payment of dues to companies for Commonwealth Games-related work during their bilateral meeting in Melbourne recently.

"Yes, I was taken aback," Krishna admitted when asked if he was taken aback after Australia had raised the issue with him.

He said he was glad that new Sports Minister Ajay Maken was looking into the issue and has announced his intention of taking action within 10 days.

Rudd had taken up the issue with Krishna during their bilateral talks last week and the latter promised to deal with the issue on his return to New Delhi.

According to reports, the Australian companies are preparing a lawsuit against the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee which allegedly owes millions of dollars to the
firms.