PM agrees to JPC probe, says parliament can’t be paralysed

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

NEW DELHI - Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday agreed to the opposition’s demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum scam, saying the country could not afford a paralysed parliament.

“It is in these special circumstances that our government agrees to setting up of JPC,” Manmohan Singh told the Lok Sabha, asking Speaker Meira Kumar to start the process to establish the panel.

Referring to the winter session of parliament when opposition did not allow any work to be transacted, he said, Our country can ill afford a situation where parliament is paralysed and important legislative business is not allowed to be considered.

In paralysing parliament, I believe we all do disservice to those who have elected us, he asserted.

Singh said that the government was committing to rooting out corruption and working expeditiously and transparently in this manner.

Enumerating the probes into the issue, he referred to the investigation by Central Bureau of Investigation under supervision of Supreme Court, parliament’s public accounts committee, and report of independent inquiry committee.

Our government believed that as all effective steps are being taken we might have been able to persuade opposition to drop demand for JPC. We could not succeed in spite of sincere effort, admitted Singh, adding, It is in this special circumstance, that our government agrees to setting up of JPC.”

He said that as a functioning democracy, India must strive to resolve differences in spirit of accommodation, not confrontation.

I am therefore requesting the honourable speaker to proceed with the formation of JPC. The formal motion will be moved soon, said Singh.

The 23-day winter session in November-December last year was virtually washed out as the opposition party members persistently protested, demanding the JPC on 2G spectrum scam.

Research groups have calculated that the national exchequer suffered a loss of Rs.171 crore due to the disruption of parliamentary work in the winter session.

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