(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
November 28, 2010
Constitute JPC to Probe 2G Scam: Yechury
THE C P I (M) has forcefully reiterated its demand of constitution of a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) to go into all aspects of 2-G scam, that has lost country's revenue worth Rs 1.76 lakh crore. Explaining the Party's position on the issue, Polit Bureau member and leader of C P I (M) in Rajya Sabha, Sitaram Yechury rejected the government’s charge that opposition was not allowing parliament to function and asked the government to appoint J P C and allow the parliament to function immediately. He was addressing the press on November 21 at the conclusion of the three day meeting of the C P I (M) Central Committee.
Countering the Congress argument against the JPC demand that the telecom scam was being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation and that the Comptroller and Auditor General's report would be examined by the public accounts committee (PAC) of parliament, Yechury pointed out that by definition this scrutiny will be a limited one, "as by definition public accounts committee is only an accounts committee".
Yechury pointed out that the PAC would no doubt go into the accounting aspect against the backdrop of corruption but the enormity of this scam demands finding out "how the system could be manipulated to create a scam of this magnitude." He also pointed out that only the JPC could come up with recommendations to have regulation and if necessary formulation of laws so that the system cannot be abused in future in such a blatant manner.
Yechury also reiterated that besides cancelling the licences of those companies which have acquired the same illegally, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommendation — that licences of those firms that did not fulfil the rollout obligations be annulled — should be carried out fully. But the UPA government appears to condone corporate crime, he said. Pointing out that telecom minister Kapil Sibal has already stated that licences need not be cancelled, Yechury said that the UPA seems to be more concerned about not scaring investors and not about the loss to exchequer.
To the charge of the ruling party that the opposition was dragging the name of prime minister into the scam, Yechury retorted by saying that it's the government’s own affidavit in Supreme Court as well as it's own erstwhile minister for telecom that has dragged PM's name in this scam. Yechury pointed out that the affidavit filed by the department of telecom in court claimed that there was no difference of opinion with the prime minister and his office was kept fully informed of all decisions in this regard. As for A Raja's repeated claims of the same concurrence, Yechury also provided the media, relevant correspondence between former telecom minister and the prime minister.
Yechury while reiterating that the prime minister should explain his position in parliament, clarified that by raising this issue the CPI(M) was “not questioning the integrity [of Dr Singh] but [his] infallibility.”