The Public Account Committee (PAC) of Parliament, headed by senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, has invited views and suggestions on the 2G spectrum scam, notwithstanding the Opposition-government stand off on the demand for a JPC to probe the issue.
Mr. Joshi, whose party is spearheading the demand for constitution of a Joint Parliamentary Committee, has also called a meeting of the PAC on Monday to hear depositions from inviting people on the issue.
“Taking into consideration the importance of the subject and the nationwide interest evinced in it, the Committee has decided to invite Memoranda containing views/suggestions from various individuals, experts, associations, institutions, organisations interested in the subject matter,” the Lok Sabha Secretariat has said in a notification.
The notification comes in the midst of the battle of attrition between the Government and the Opposition over the JPC demand even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sought to break the deadlock by offering to appear before the PAC, which in itself was an unprecedented move.
However, the Opposition rejected his offer as well as Leader of the House and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s suggestion for a special session of Parliament to discuss the demand for JPC. The Opposition parties are insisting on nothing but a JPC.
Mr. Mukherjee on Thursday attacked the Opposition and has asked them to apologise for ‘destroying’ the institution of Parliament.
The demand for JPC by the Opposition and its refusal by the government took its toll on the Parliamentary proceedings as the entire winter session was washed out without any business being transacted.
The CAG has quantified revenue loss to the exchequer at up to Rs. 1.76 lakh crore, a development that forced former Telecom Minister A. Raja to quit.
The notification by the PAC said the memoranda submitted to the Committee would be treated as confidential and would form a part of the records of the committee.
It has also offered individuals to appear before the committee but subject to the PAC’s decision.
The Committee has been examining the subject “Recent Developments in the Telecom Sector including Allocation of 2G and 3G spectrum” since June 2010 and has asked for views within next 15 days.
The PAC said that it has already obtained some valuable information from the DoT, Ministry of Finance, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), experts in the telecom sector through oral deposition and written submission.