Ready to discuss all issues in Parliament: PM on 2G scam

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said his government was not afraid of discussing any issue in Parliament.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Breaking his silence over the 2G Spectrum allocation scam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said his government was ready to discuss all issues, as he appealed to all political parties not to stall the Parliament over the issue.

Responding to a question at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit here, Dr Singh sought to assure everyone by saying investigating agencies were looking into all aspects of the allegations made in respect to dubious allocation of 2G Spectrum by the Telecom Ministry under its former chief, A Raja.

“I will appeal to all political parties to let the Parliament work… we need to let the Parliament function… we are ready to discuss all issues in Parliament. The government is not afraid of any issue,” the PM told the annual summit.

“As far as the irregularities in 2G Spectrum allocation are concerned, I can say that various aspects of this are being looked into by respective investigating agencies. There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that if any wrong thing has been done, he or she will be brought to book,” he added.

In response to another question, Dr Singh said his government was committed to normalisation of India`s relationship with Pakistan but the neighbouring country must control the terror machine.

"We are willing to discuss all issues, provided the terror machine is controlled," the Prime Minister, adding South Asia was "a region of enormous capacity" but this cannot become a living reality unless there is peace.

Manmohan Singh said India`s relations with Southeast Asia had improved significantly and there was considerable strengthening of ties with countries in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait.

He said the leaders of all five permanent member countries of the UN Security Council would be visiting India in a year. "Such goodwill it (India) never enjoyed before," he said.

On the visit of US President Barack Obama from November 6-9, the Prime Minister said it was "a great success".

On the issue of Cabinet reshuffle, the PM said, "I think I am not able to say what I am going to do in way of a Cabinet reshuffle. When that happens all of you will come to know."

However, he did reiterate that there should be more younger people in the Cabinet, as well as in Indian politics. "I do share the thought that we must reduce the average age of people in power. We must bring in more young people," he said.

Earlier, in his address at the summit, Dr Singh said India was going through testing times and that he often felt like a "high school student" going from one test to another.

The PM’s remarks cam as a host of scams rocked his government, from the Commonwealth Games scam to Adarsh Society and 2G Spectrum allocation irregularities.

"It is often said that these are testing times. In fact, I cannot help feeling that we in India are living always in testing times," the Prime Minister said.

"Indeed as PM, I sometimes feel like a high school student going from one test to another," he added.

Dr Singh also commented that India braved the worst global slowdown in decades better than most economies and would grow at 8.5 percent this fiscal and 9 to 10 percent next year.

"We were among the few countries that recovered quickly from the after-effects of the global economic crisis," the PM said, adding that India, although affected, handled the crisis better than others.

"Last year we grew at 7.4 percent, this year I am confident that the economy will grow at 8.5 percent, and next year, we hope to return the economy to a sustained growth of 9-10 percent," he added.