The government on Thursday announced setting up of a 30 member JPC to look into the allocation and pricing of 2 G spectrum from 1998 to 2009. A resolution moved by the leader of the Lok Sabha Mr. Pranab Mukherjee was adopted by the House after a discussion. Giving details about the committee Mr. Mukherjee said it will have 20 members from Lok Sabha and 10 from Rajya Sabha. The Chairman of the committee will be decided by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha. Moving the resolution, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee said it will examine irregularities and aberrations if any and their consequences in the implementation of the Government’s decisions besides policy prescriptions on the issue in the specified period.
The panel will also make recommendations to ensure that appropriate procedures are formulated for implementation of laid down policies.
Speaking of the resolution, Mr Pranab Mukerjee expressed regret that the winter session was almost washed out and said that parliament cannot be mortgaged to concede to a particular demand. He said disruption of proceedings is an area of concern which needs to be addressed collectively. Later responding to a debate, he said that the government is prepared to walk an extra mile to accommodate the opposition.
Speaking on the resolution, the leader of the opposition, Mrs Sushma Swaraj alleged that due to delay by the executive and legislature, the judiciary has been forced to act. In her spirited speech, Mrs. Swaraj gave many examples holding the government responsible for such happening and also criticized it for delaying the setting up of JPC. Speaking in the same vein, Mr. Gurudas Dasgupta of the CPI said that the JPC has been set up at a stage when a series of measures including the arrest of former Telecom Minister has already taken place.
Dismissing the opposition allegations, the Telecom Minister Mr. Kapil Sibal clarified his stand on zero loss to the exchequer qualifying it with the government’s policy of allotting start of spectrum which comes bundled with a license to an operator. Members of JDU, RJD, CPIM, AIADMK were among those who spoke in favour of the motion.