25, Issue # 84 - September 26, 2002
The President of Philatelic Congress of India, Sahadeva Sahoo wrote in the current issue of "Stamps & Stamps", edited and published by him, that EIPA (Eastern India Philatelic Association) has, because of their internal troubles, requested PCI to find any other society to organize this national. Any takers?
Our source points out that Sahoo and B K Sinha, who work closely together on all philatelic ventures, themselves are responsible for the troubles at EIPA. Sahoo and Sinha had consistently misled its President who happens to be the Minister of Tourism of the Orissa State Government, and other Executives about PCI, INPEX 2002, and the related procedures. These two persons did not even inform EIPA or the Organizing Committee members about the meetings of the Allotment Committee held at Bhubaneswar where EIPA regularly meets.
It seems that Sinha has already spent Rs. 150,000 on account of exhibition without approval from either EIPA Executive Committee or INPEX 2002 Organizing Committee. The designing and printing of prospectus and mailing envelope; Letterhead and mailing envelope; entry form, Invitation cards, special covers, souvenir and palmers cover; certificates, publicity stickers - 2 sizes, posters, the designing of commemorative stamps and miniature sheet and medals; the official hotel and other contracts were awarded, allotment and other subcommittees finalized before the first meeting of the Organizing Committees in April 2002.
What is perhaps worse is that the money was spent not only on designing and printing and other activities as mentioned above but also on daily wining and dining of the INPEX 2002 team led by Sinha at the official hotel since early 2002. They want to feast on INPEX 2002 account for the whole year it seems.
Sahoo & Sinha, who were also at the helm of affairs, for MILLEPEX in January 2000 the earlier national held at Bhubaneswar, have neither rendered nor had the accounts for the exhibition audited despite being reminded on several occasions by the concerned team.
We have since learned that Orissa Philatelic Association is now expected to organize INPEX 2002 that means nothing has changed, same dates, same venue, same personnel (Sahoo & Sinha as President & Secretary) and same problems.
The exhibition has a proposed budget of Rs. 1.6 million without taking into account the rental Rs. 0.6 million for the venue. Chief Minster of Orissa State was apprised of the activities of the Sahoo, Sinha duo and requested to ensure that no public funds were allowed to be misused in view of the position of accounts of the previous national as well as misappropriation already on for the current exhibition.
The Chancellor of Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) who is also the Governor of Orissa State, reportedly has told the organizers that the use of the OUAT Convention Center as the venue for INPEX 2002 shall be made available only on payment of the normal prescribed charges for the same, about Rs. 600,000, and not free of cost as was presumed by the organizers.
Sinha has filed Caveats against Shakil Ahmed, J N Kanungo, and, believe it or not, against all members of the PCI at courts, fearing what, only he knows! The fate of the exhibition now hangs on the ability of this duo to raise the required funds.