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CPM: Why is Dr Singh willing to appear before PAC, not JPC?

Source: PTI
December 30, 2010 17:05 IST
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The Communist Party of India-Marxist on Thursday questioned why Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh was not willing to appear before a Joint Parliamentary Committee on the 2G spectrum allocation scandal when he was ready to face the Public Accounts Committee.

"If the prime minister is willing to appear before the PAC, then why not before a JPC? Both the PAC and the JPC are, after all, joint parliamentary committees. The former, however, is confined to examine, by definition, the accounts only," senior CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said.

Noting that Singh expressed his willingness to appear before PAC only after the "unprecedented wasted winter session" of Parliament ended sine die, he said, "If this very same statement was made in Parliament at the very outset of the winter session, may be things would have been different."

No major business could be transacted throughout the session due to the government's "obdurate refusal" to accept the opposition's demand for a JPC into the 2G scam, leading to disruptions.

"This United Progressive Alliance-II government is displaying a callous lack of concern on this score, raising strong and legitimate suspicions of its complicity in permitting such a massive loot of our resources," Yechury said in an editorial in the CPI-M organ People's Democracy.

He said what was required in this context was to evolve a set of new regulations, and if necessary laws, to "ensure that such massive manipulations of our system permitting colossal loots are prevented in the future. This would be the central agenda of the JPC."

He said it was only after the JPC recommendations on the Harshad Mehta stock market scam that regulations to strengthen financial sector operations came into effect.

Asking the public to launch "more mightier struggles in 2011", he said, "Speaking about scams, 2010 has been a landmark year in independent India's history".

Observing that "the mother of all scams -- the 2G spectrum scam" came along with those linked to illegal mining, land allocations, Indian Premier League tourney, Commonwealth Games and Adarsh housing society, he said, "These lakhs of crores of rupees that are being looted through such large-scale corruption are depriving our people of a better livelihood standard. If the government could collect these legitimate revenues rather than allowing them to be siphoned off and spend them on social sector schemes that would have positively contributed to enhancing the livelihood levels of our people -- the aam admi", Yechury added.
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