Even an ex-Comptroller and Auditor General of India was not worthy enough to control the Indian Premier League 2018 Opening Ceremony expenditure within the budget sanctioned by a committee that he himself helmed.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India has reportedly ended up spending around ₹ 5 crores more than the ₹ 18 crores allocated for the IPL opening ceremony last year. National daily DNA in a report has published the details of the expenses and tender process for the IPL 2018 opening gig.
In spite of a ₹ 18 crore budgetary cap put by the CoA, the BCCI has reportedly ended up spending ₹ 23 crores on the ceremony that also featured Hrithik Roshan.
Six companies had submitted initial interest as the BCCI has floated the RFP. Based on their bids, three companies – reportedly Showtime, Fountainhead and Wizcraft Entertainment – were shortlisted. The three companies had quoted ₹ 15.75 cr, ₹ 16.9 cr and ₹ 17.8 crores respectively with the Wizcraft being the highest bidder.
Later one, Showtime and Fountainhead also opted out of the bid process, the paper has reported, leaving only Wizcraft in the run to manage the opening ceremony for the 11th edition of the IPL. Then the IPL COO Hemang Amin had reportedly negotiated and brought down the deal to ₹16.25 crore.
Ranveer Singh was to be the star performer as per the contract. Since he was ruled out with an injury, replacement Hrithik came for an additional cost ₹ 1.45 crore.
However, the board had finally made a payment of ₹ 20 crores to the event management company, which after the statutory tax deduction adjustment amounts to a net expenditure of ₹ 23 crores.
Even if due permissions and clearance were availed for any expenditure over and above the allocated budget, the question that remains unanswered is whey the tender process was delayed to the extent that other bidders were forced to opt-out due to operational challenges.