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Delhi Commonwealth Games dues raised in UK Parliament

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London: The UK government has expressed hope that the issue of payment due amounting to 29 million pounds to a British company involved in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi will be resolved in the lead up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the country next month.

UK-based satellite and broadcast organisation SIS Live claims India owes it 29 million pounds for delivering coverage of the Games.

“What recent discussions he has had with the Government of India on outstanding payments due to British companies for work carried out during the 2010 Commonwealth games,” Conservative party MP Laurence Robertson asked minister of state in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire during a House of Commons debate titled ‘India: Outstanding Payments to British Companies’ on Tuesday.

“In the case of SIS Live, the British High commission in New Delhi has provided consistent support to the company and urged the Government of India to resolve the dispute over payment. I personally raised this issue with the Indian high commissioner (Ranjan Mathai) just yesterday, and we will continue to press for a satisfactory settlement,” Swire said.

“SIS Live is a perfectly respectable British company which fully delivered on its commitments in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth games. Does he agree that the outstanding debt of 29 million pounds should be paid to SIS Live in advance of the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to this country later this year,” Robertson said further.

“Swire agreed that the government hoped this will be “resolved before Prime Minister Modi comes here shortly. The visit will be an opportunity for us to discuss a wide range of issues,” he said.

“Bilateral trade with India is extremely good, but what is important is the signal this matter sends to other potential British companies looking to invest in India, so we do want it resolved,” he added.

SIS Live had agreed a contract with Prasar Bharati in 2009. However, amid serious allegations of corruption, payments to a number of the 32 contractors who provided work at the Delhi Games were brought into question.

Modi is expected to arrive in the UK for a three-day visit on November 12.