JPC chief feels PAC has gone beyond mandate in 2G

With PAC being on a spree of questioning people in 2G, it has not gone down well with JPC Chairman.

New Delhi: With Public Accounts Committee
(PAC) of Parliament being on a spree of questioning people
from various sections in 2G case, it has not gone down well
with JPC Chairman P C Chacko who feels that PAC has gone
beyond its mandate and wants a "conflict" to be avoided.

Chacko underlined that PAC`s mandate was limited to
looking into accounting irregularities in 2G spectrum
allocation as highlighted by the Comptroller and Auditor
General (CAG) and it should not give an impression of holding
a "parallel inquiry" to what JPC is supposed to do.
"The very purpose of forming the JPC (Joint
Parliamentary Committee) is to look into the broader question
about 2G and telecom. It appears from media reports that PAC
is performing a parallel inquiry to that of JPC," Chacko said.

"The PAC should confine to the accounting irregularities
pointed out by the CAG," he said.
Chacko`s comments came as the PAC, headed by BJP leader
Murli Manohar Joshi, has been calling for deposition of
journalists who wrote on 2G spectrum "scam" and editors of
magazines which published the transcripts of telephonic
conversations of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia with
industrialists, journalists and politicians.

The PAC is also set to call for examination Radia as
also senior journalists who are in the tapes.

"Conflict should be avoided as far as possible. We
will discuss it in the JPC," said Chacko, a Congress leader
and Lok Sabha member from Kerala`s Thrissur.

The 30-member JPC, which will have its first meeting on
March 24, would be examining the work done by the PAC which
has been examining the 2G issue for over a year.

The JPC will examine the telecom policy in place from
1998 to 2008, its implementation, pricing of spectrum and
issuance of licences.

The aim is to ascertain if there were any problems in
the system and its implementation and recommend actions

In this connection, the committee intends to seek all
relevant documents from the ministries concerned and
communications between various departments.

The formation of the JPC last month brought down the
curtains on a three-month deadlock in Parliament between the
government and the Opposition, which latched on to a CAG
report on alleged irregularities in 2G spectrum allocations
and pegged the presumptive loss to the national exchequer at
Rs 1.76 lakh crore.



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