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India owes millions in Commonwealth Games bills
Agence France Presse - January 21, 2011
New Delhi – Indian organizers of the Commonwealth Games have left foreign contractors and sports bodies with millions of dollars of unpaid bills, business owners and diplomats said on Thursday.
Companies say they have been unable to contact officials whose e-mail addresses and telephone numbers were cancelled.
Firms in Australia, Britain, France and Germany are among those owed money, officials said, while national Commonwealth Games associations have complained of missing refunds and travel subsidies.
"Last time we told [the Games accountants] to pay everything in full that is due under all agreements," Lalit Bhanot, secretary general of the organizing committee, said in New Delhi on Thursday.
Ric Birch, the Australian impresario behind the opening and closing ceremonies, has instructed lawyers to start a class action against the Game's organizers.
"There were up to 15 other companies involved with the opening ceremony and many more companies involved with the Commonwealth Games overall," Birch told ABC radio in Australia on Thursday. "None of the companies have received their payments, which were due under contract by the end of October."
The event in New Delhi was tainted by poor organization, unfinished accommodation for athletes and corruption allegations as the estimated budget tripled to six billion dollars.