2G scam: Pranab Mukherjee moves motion for JPC
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday moved a motion in Lok Sabha for setting up of Joint Parliamentary Committee to look into the 2G spectrum scam.
Moving the motion on behalf of the government, Mukherjee said that the JPC will examine telecom policy pursued from 1998 to 2009. "The JPC will look into policy prescriptions and their interpretations thereafter by successive governments including the decision of the Union Cabinet and the consequences thereof, in the allocation and pricing of telecom licenses and spectrum from 1998 to 2009," he said.
The JPC will give its report by the end of the next session of the Parliament.
"The JPC will also make recommendations to ensure formulation of appropriate procedures for implementation of laid down regulations in the policy allocations and pricing of telecom licences, " Mukherjee said.
"It wasn't due to arrogance or lack of interest in resolving the 2G issue that the Congress had refused to agree to a JPC. It was just that the party thought it had taken all measures to look into 2G allotment," he added.
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Image: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee
JPC to have 20 Lok Sabha members, 10 from Rajya Sabha
The 30-member JPC including the chairman will comprise 20 members from the Lok Sabha and 10 members from the Rajya Sabha. The chairman will be nominated by the speaker and the 10 members of the Rajya Sabha will be nominated from across parties. Sources say Congress MP PC Chako is likely to head the JPC.
The 20 members of the Lok Sabha, who will be part of the JPC, include V Kishore Chandra S Deo, Praban Singh Ghatowar, J P Aggarwal, Deepender Singh Hooda, P C Chako, Manish Tewari, Nirmal Khatri, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, T R Balu, Kalyan Banerjee, Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha, Harin Pathak, Gopinath Munde, Sharad Yadav, Dara Singh Chauhan, Skhilesh Yadav, Gurudas Dasgupta, Arjun Charan Sethi and T Thambi Burai.
Was our demand for JPC violent or unconstitutional, asks Swaraj
The debate on the setting up of the JPC led to a clash between the government and the opposition with the Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj making a frontal attack on the Congress-led coalition for conceding the demand after a long time.
Moving the motion, Mukherjee said that lessons needed to be drawn by all concerned from the deadlock, suggesting that it was dangerous for democracy that Parliament cannot function till you concede to a particular demand.
"The Parliament cannot be mortgaged to the conceding of a demand," he said warning if "hatred and disrespect for parliamentary institutions was generated, it would lead to the rise of extra-constitutional authorities" as had happened in a neighbouring country way back in 1958 when Martial Law was imposed.
While Swaraj was critical of Mukherjee for dubbing opposition as "Maoists", the Leader of the House said the Left radicals dub Parliament as an "abode of pigs" and therefore wanted all concerned to act responsibly.
"Was our demand for JPC violent or unconstitutional," Swaraj sought to know from Mukherjee, referring to him at the same time as a very nice person who fails to distinguish between proper and improper when he gets angry.
Image: Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj