Jaswant appears before JPC

NEW DELHI NOV. 13. The Finance Minister, Jaswant Singh, today told the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), probing the stock market scam, that its recommendations with regard to the Unit Trust of India could be incorporated as amendments when a Bill to replace the ordinance to restructure UTI was introduced in Parliament.

Mr. Jaswant Singh, who appeared before the JPC for the first time, was responding to queries from the members as to what prompted the Government to restructure the UTI when the organisation's conduct was under its scrutiny.

Briefing newspersons, the JPC chairman, Shri Prakash Mani Tripathi, said the Minister told the members that if the JPC comes up with any suggestions with regard to the UTI and were accepted by Parliament, they could be introduced as amendments to the Bill.

The Minister said the Government effected the ordinance since there were charges that it did nothing to carry out changes despite the problem of redemption faced by the UTI. He assured that there was no intention to transgress the right or working of the JPC.

On the controversial issue of the Mauritius route of investment, which was seen as a major factor behind the scam, the Minister disagreed with the observation that there was `massive outflow' under it. He said the treaty was in place not for commercial reasons but because of special relations between the two countries.

He ruled out abrogation or major changes in the Double Taxation Avoidance Treaty between India and Mauritius, the JPC chairman said. The Minister agreed with observations by the JPC members that there were deficiency in the surveillance by regulators, be it the RBI or the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

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