Friday, December 3, 2010

Bankrupt India cant offord Olympics Bill - Now stealing Aussie Equipment

Australian companies owed millions for Delhi Games
Louise Hall November 27, 2010 

INTERNATIONALLY renowned major events producer Ric Birch says India should not be allowed to host the Olympics because the organisers of the Commonwealth Games have failed to pay millions of dollars in fees to several international contractors, including three Australian companies.
Almost 100 shipping containers of lighting, audio, pyrotechnic and staging equipment are stranded on Indian docks or at the main stadium as customs and the official freight supplier, Agility, refuse to process the necessary paperwork.

Mr Birch said the Delhi Organising Committee was a disgrace for ''basking in the praise of world media'' for the spectacular ceremonies while failing to pay the creative and technical crew who made it possible.

Mr Birch's Spectak Productions is owed 15 per cent of its fees for creative direction, choreography, and design, but numerous attempts to extract payment have been met with silence.
Sydney-based fireworks company Howard and Sons is owed $300,000 and is unable to export about $1 million of equipment used to create the glittering grand finale.

''All I'm after is what I'm legitimately owed but [the Indian government agencies] are sitting on their hands,'' company director Andrew Howard said.

The chief executive of Norwest Productions, Chris Kennedy, said he received payment only by threatening to pull out all the audio equipment the day before the closing ceremony. He is still waiting on his 10 per cent performance bond and equipment worth about $1.25 million to pass through Indian customs.

The contractors wrote to the the chairman of the Delhi Organising Committee, Suresh Kalmadi, demanding immediate payment on November 10.
Two days later Mr Kalmadi stepped down from a senior post in India's ruling Congress party, amid a probe into alleged corruption around the event.

The Australian government has raised the situation with the Indian government through Austrade. The Commonwealth Games Federation and the Delhi Organising Committee did not return calls or emails.

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