Clearing his position on the Opposition demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum scam, senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, who is also the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), on Thursday said he was “fully committed” to his party's demand for a JPC probe.
“As a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, I stand fully committed to the demand for the formation of joint parliamentary committee to look into the broader questions related to corruption facing the country today,” Dr. Joshi said in a statement.
Notably, as the PAC head, Dr. Joshi is looking into the Comptroller and Auditor General of India's report on 2G spectrum allocation that has put “presumptive loss” to the exchequer at over Rs.1.76-lakh crore. While the government has so far declined to setting up a JPC, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has offered to appear before the PAC to answer any query on the 2G scam.
Dr. Joshi pointed out that issues of corruption during UPA-II were of great concern for the people. The PAC would look into matters of public spending based on CAG reports.
“The PAC has a constitutional jurisdiction and its function is well laid out. It shall function within its purview and within the rules and procedure of Parliament. It shall make sure that every paisa of public money is well accounted for. The PAC does not deal just with the Telecom Ministry. It analyses every report of the CAG dealing with the various Ministries,” he said.
“As the chairman of the PAC, I believe in the committee's vast powers in bringing greater accountability to public spending. I commit myself to playing this role effectively,” Dr. Joshi added.
Even as Dr. Joshi pursued with the PAC probe after the CAG report was tabled in Parliament last month, political circles were abuzz with reports of rift within the BJP on the JPC issue.
It was in this contest that Dr. Joshi reportedly met BJP president Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday. However, Dr. Joshi, who is also a former president of the BJP, sought to clear doubts on the role of the PAC in the 2G issue.