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HindustanTimes Mon,24 Nov 2014

Raja only pursued NDA govt decisions: Pranab

PTI  Kolkata, January 02, 2011
First Published: 16:49 IST(2/1/2011) | Last Updated: 16:50 IST(2/1/2011)

Former Telecom Minister A Raja had only "pursued" the policy decision taken by the erstwhile NDA government on 2G allocation issue, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Sunday.

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"Don't throw stones sitting in a glass house because the policy decision of 2G allocation was taken by the NDA government in 1998 and former telecom minister A Raja only pursued it," Mukherjee told a special meeting of the WBPCC here, hitting back at the BJP for demanding JPC in the 2G spectrum issue.

He claimed BJP-led NDA's policy decision had led to revenue loss of Rs. 1.45 lakh crore to the government.

"The policy of fixed license fee and the revenue sharing formula between the government and the companies was taken by the NDA government," he said.

He said the companies had to pay 1,651 crore entry fee for license and then a revenue sharing formula was designed by the NDA government.

"In the name of uniformity of system, money was even refunded to companies who migrated from auction based system to revenue fixed license fee system. This led to a revenue loss of Rs. 1.45 lakh crore for the government," he claimed.

He questioned the need for JPC when the PAC, CAG and CBI were already looking into the issue of 2G spectrum allocation.

On the demand for JPC, he pointed out that so far there had been four JPCs -- the Bofors scandal, the Harshad Mehta stock market scam, the multi-crore security scam in Mautitius and one relating to pesticides in soft drinks. "But not a single case has been solved.

"If the opposition wants to make JPC an instrument for political propaganda then that is different, but if they want investigation then why JPC? The government is already investigating," Mukherjee said.

He said there were three aspects of the case - the policy decision, the criminal aspect and the accounting part.

"The criminal part is being investigated by the CBI from October 2009, the accounting part by the CAG and the report sent to the Finance Minister to be tabled in Parliamant, and policy will be investigated by the PAC," Mukherjee said.

"So why you need JPC?" Mukherjee asked.

He also questioned that if divergent investigative agencies gave divergent reports then what would the government do.

"JPC is not court and they cannot punish anybody. If the guilty need to be prosecuted then we will have go through normal legal process. So what is the function of JPC?" he asked.

Referring to the washed out Winter Session of Parliament, Mukherjee said, "This is purely unconstitutional that some people will shout and make Parliament non-functional."

If the opposition continued to demand JPC on the 2G spectrum allocation, he said, "We can also ask for JPC on Rajarhat (land scam) and on recent developments in Karnataka assembly. But it does not fall under the purview of Parliament."


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