HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

Will not oppose TRAI amendment bill: Sharad Pawar

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, July 12, 2014
First Published: 18:03 IST(12/7/2014) | Last Updated: 22:22 IST(12/7/2014)

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar backed on Saturday the Narendra Modi government’s decision of appointing former Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chief Nripendra Misra as principle secretary to the Prime Minister.

He said there was nothing wrong in re-appointing Misra in the government service as the TRAI Act meant to prohibit the officer from taking up any private job after the retirement.

“He was not taking job in Reliance or any other private company.  Until any officer from the authority was appointed back in the government service, there should not objection raised to it,” he added. 

Opposition had raised strong objection over the appointment.

Pawar also supported Union government’s move of raising the cap of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the defence to 49% from 26%, but said it should be restricted to certain areas. 

Pawar said that there was no harm in allowing the FDI in areas like basic infrastructure, but one should tread cautiously when it came to the sensitive components. He said the government should be cautious enough about the FDI in terms of the interests shown by the countries.

“We should be careful about the investment if it is coming from certain neighboring countries and in the sensitive areas,” he added.

He, however, batted for the Congress on the issue of opposition leader’s post in Lok Sabha.

Pawar demanded that the post of Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha be allotted to the Congress. “Leader of Opposition is the essential institution that represents opposite side in the democracy. Though Congress had committed similar mistake in the past on couple of occasions, the appointment should not be opposed to now. There was no specific provision, in the Act, of minimum number of MPs in the house,” he added.

Replying to a question about the appointment of BJP leader Amit Shah as the party’s national head,  Pawar said one should not raise objection if senior  leaders LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi had agreed to the appointment.

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