GoM on Commonwealth games meets

It is the first meeting of the GoM after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh directly stepped in yesterday convening an emergency meeting on review of preparations for the mega sporting event in the wake of the alleged corruption scandals that has hit the Games and missed deadlines for the readiness of several stadia in the Capital.

The clutch of ministers, headed by Urban Develpment Minister S Jaipal Reddy, discussed in detail the broad contours of the opening ceremony.

"Primarily the focus is on delivery of the Games and preparation of the various items required for the opening ceremony," Reddy told reporters ahead of the meeting.

The others in the GoM include Sports Minister M S Gill. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi--under flak over allegations of corruption and irregularities--also attended the meeting.

Oscar-winning music director A R Rahman made a presentation of his theme song for the Commonwealth Games at the meeting.

Sources said the idea was to ensure that the song becomes a sensation like his own 'Jai Ho' composed for the film "Slumdog Millionaire"and Soccer World Cup theme song 'Waka Waka'.

The GoM has now been empowered to take all necessary decisions for the smooth conduct of the event.

The GoM has been directed by the Prime Minister to meet immediately and frequently thereafter.

Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar was also directed to liaise closely with the Group of Ministers to ensure "effective coordination" among all the authorites concerned.
At the meeting, the GoM was empowered to take all decisions necessary for the smooth conduct of the Games and refer any matter that may require further consideration to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for a final decision.

The Cabinet will be briefed on the state of preparations on a weekly basis.

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