Pranab aware 2G note content: Gopalan to JPC

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee was aware of the contents of the controversial 2G note, a top official said.

New Delhi: Finance Minister Pranab
Mukherjee was aware of the contents of the controversial 2G
note which was issued as an office memorandum at the
insistence of the Prime Minister`s Office, a top official told
the JPC on Thursday.

Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, R Gopalan, who
appeared before the JPC for the second consecutive day,
also told the panel looking into the 2G issue that though the
internal note of March 25, 2011, was seen by Mukherjee, that
did not mean that it was approved by the Finance Minister.

Facing a volley of questions, mostly from BJP members,
Gopalan submitted that the note was a result of joint efforts
by various government departments, Joint Parliamentary
Committee Chairman P C Chacko told reporters at the end of two
days of questioning of Finance Ministry officials.

Gopalan was asked to comment on the meaning of the term
`seen` based on a recent Law Ministry opinion to the JPC
which said it "means something more than mere sight of the
document."

He told the Committee that approval is sought for a
proposal or a policy decision. In cases where no approval is
required, files are often referred to ministers and senior
officials for them to see before they are sent forward.

"...he (Pranab) is aware of the contents of the note.
That is the meaning of `seen`. That was said by the secretary
(Gopalan)," Chacko said.

The JPC chief also referred to a letter written by
Mukherjee to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on September 26
last year in which he had said that the Finance Ministry was
initially not keen on sending the note as an office memorandum
(OM), but had to at the insistence of a joint secretary in the
PMO.

"This was in that letter that was explained today (by
Gopalan)," he said.

PTI

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