The government is examining a proposal to bring under "a ministry" the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), in the eye of a storm for allegedly monitoring phone conversations between a high-profile lobbyist and Communications Minister A Raja on the allocation of 2G spectrum, Home Minister P Chidambaram said on Thursday.
"A group of ministers had recommended the creation of the NTRO in 2001. It was the decision of the (previous) NDA (National Democratic Alliance) and not the UPA (United Progressive Alliance)," Chidambaram said in the Rajya Sabha while replying to a debate on the phone tapping issue.
"It had been decided to place the NTRO not under a ministry but under the NSA. We are examining whether the NTRO should be placed under a ministry so that the minister is accountable to Parliament," he added.
The issue had rocked Parliament on Wednesday, leading to demands for Raja's resignation and disrupting the proceedings in both houses.
It led to 75 minutes of the pre-lunch session being lost in the Rajya Sabha, which was adjourned twice, while the Lok Sabha lost an hour's business due to one adjournment.
Both houses had been adjourned for the day Monday and Tuesday after angry opposition MPs demanded a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into a report that the phones of prominent politicians had been tapped. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had nixed the demand, angering the opposition further and leading it to give notice of a privilege motion in the Lok Sabha.