New Delhi: Probing into the alleged irregularities in the Commonwealth Games, the VK Shunglu Committee said that former CWG Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi announced a grant of USD 7.2 million (Rs33 crore) without any authority or prior consultation to 72 Commonwealth Games associations in various countries at the Montego Bay meeting in 2003.

However, Kalmadi claimed to have taken prior permission of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, but the PMO has denied this, the Shunglu panel said on Friday.

In its sixth report made public on Friday, the panel said, "In September 2004, Rajkumar Sacheti, Director (Coordination), Indian Olympic Association informed government of an additional liability of USD 7.2 million. This had arisen because president, IOA (Kalmadi) had announced a training grant of USD 100,000 to each of the 72 Commonwealth Games Associations at Montego Bay during the General Assembly in November, 2003.

"Although the ministry was aware of this announcement since it had answered a Parliament Question on Dec 2, 2003 on this subject, it feigned complete ignorance and seemed surprised," the panel said.

"On being asked, Kalmadi stated that he had taken the prior approval of the then Prime Minister (Vajpayee) telephonically.

According to the Prime Minister's Office, there is no record of such approval," the report added.

The committee also termed as a myth the claim of the OC that the Commonwealth Games were revenue neutral - income would be equal to the expenses - because the cabinet sanction includes an amount of Rs767 crore.

The Shunglu pael described many of the letters of the OC administrators as "fictional".

The report states, “It is worth noting that the letter of Randhir Singh, Secretary General, IOA to Department of Sports (March, 2003) is fictional. Likewise, the letter of Kalmadi, president, IOA (August 2003) is a marginal improvement on the fiction. These letters were only designed to obtain the approval of the government under pretext that the Games would be 'revenue neutral', that there would be virtually no financial liability for government to meet and therefore it would be quite safe to underwrite the Games."

The panel also observed that the cost of the Games was "periodically revised" and then reported as part of the "budget" for the event.

All that has been done is that the cost of the Games to the exchequer is being periodically revised and reported as the budget for the Games. On the last such occasion at the 32nd meeting of the GOM held on September 22, 2010 the GoM is informed of the budget having increased to Rs 11,687 crore with the sanction of Rs 193.42 crore to Organising Committee. What has increased is the financial outlay, not the budget, the report read.

(Agencies)