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If found guilty, no one will be spared: PM

Last updated on: February 24, 2011 16:22 IST

If found guilty, no one will be spared: PM

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Sharing concerns of all sections over scams including those involving 2G spectrum and Commonwealth Games, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday asserted in Parliament that his government would do everything to clean the "public life" and ensure that "no wrong-doer" goes unpunished.

He referred to the decision to form JPC into 2G scam and the probe being undertaken by the CBI in various corruption cases and said his government would "fully cooperate" with all the agencies "so that the truth comes out".

Replying to a debate in the Lok Sabha on Motion of Thanks to the President's Address, Dr Singh also said everything would be done to bring back black money stashed abroad as "we are one with Opposition" on the issue.

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'I don't deny that unfortunate developments have taken place'

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Underlining that the problem of black money had not occurred only four to five years back but was older than that, he said the government was ready to "sit" with all parties to discuss how to deal with it and "all constructive suggestions" would be considered.

After Dr Singh's reply, the Motion was adopted by voice vote.

During the 55-minute, the Prime Minister responded point-by-point to various issues raised by members concerning corruption, inflation, internal security and foreign policy.

Referring to the scams that were highlighted by members, Dr Singh said, "I don't deny that unfortunate developments have taken place in the areas of telecom and Commonwealth Games."



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'If there is a scam, it must be dealt with'

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He said these concerns are being addressed and whenever "credible and actionable evidence" is being found, action is taken.

In this regard, he pointed out that Chief Ministers and Union Ministers have resigned after allegations were levelled against them and the CBI is on the trail of the scams.

"I assure this House that there is nothing that we will not do in order to clean our public life," Dr Singh asserted.

Talking about the controversial 2G Spectrum allocation, he said, "If there is a scam, it must be dealt with. Law of the land will punish the wrong doers."



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'No wrong-doer can escape punishment'

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At the same time, he said, "We must not overlook the fact that there is tremendous growth in the telecom sector which has taken place."

He defended the telecom policy, which was pursued since 1999, saying it had paid "rich dividends" and said the fault lay with the implementation.

With regard to the CWG, he said the Games were very successful despite doubts that were expressed earlier.

"There were complaints of wrong-doings even before the Games and from the ramparts of the Red Fort, I had promised that if a wrong thing has been done, we will investigate the matter. If found guilty, no one will be spared," he said.

"No wrong-doer can escape punishment," Dr Singh said, noting a high-powered committee was looking into the issue.



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The foremost priorities of the government

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"In all these matters, I think, it is our bounden duty and my promise to this House that we will not flinch from ensuring that no wrong-doer escapes the penalties that our legal system provides," the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister said dealing with corruption, inflation, internal and external challenges were among the foremost priorities of the government, which were mentioned in the President's address also.

Referring to the "gist" of concerns expressed by members over these aspects, Dr Singh noted that some had appreciated what the government is doing, others have criticised that the efforts are inadequate, half-hearted while some have questioned the motives.



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PM's reasons for rising prices

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"I have always believed that in Parliamentary system, those who take part in the debate can debate the broad question, but if people start doubting intentions, I think that is not good for the healthy growth of Parliamentary system," he said.

Turning to price rise, Dr Singh admitted that inflation over the last 18 months had become a "problem" but attributed it to "reasons beyond our control". He listed these reasons as drought of 2009, natural calamities, oil price hike and world food situation.

"The government policy is to ensure that we control inflation but in a manner by which we do not hurt the growth of employment opportunities," he said, adding "if we have ham-handed approach, we could have killed the growth process which is the only source of providing jobs to youth."



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'India wants friendly relations with all the neighbours'

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He said the government was committed to bringing the National Food Security Bill, which will expand the frontiers of government's ability to control inflation.

Under the Food Security Bill, food will be provided at sufficiently low prices and strengthen the anti-poverty programmes, supplementing the MNREGA.

Delving on foreign policy, Dr Singh said India wants friendly relations with all the neighbours and asked Pakistan to "grasp" India's hand of friendship.



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'Grasp India's hand of friendship'

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Referring to the meeting of Foreign Secretaries in Thimphu earlier this month, Dr Singh said there were "hopeful signs" and an atmosphere had emerged in which negotiations between the two countries can go forward.

Maintaining that dialogue was the only way to resolve differences, he said, "We are willing to discuss all outstanding issues with Pakistan provided Pakistan gives up its practice of allowing the use of its territory for terrorist activities against India."

He said he sincerely hopes and believes that the "new ruling classes of Pakistan would grasp the hands of our friendship and recognise that whatever are our differences, terror as an instrument of State policy, is something that no civilised society ought to use."



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