Budget session of parliament begins today; JPC on the cards
In a decision aimed to ensure smooth functioning of the budget session of Parliament beginning today, the government is all set to announce a JPC to probe the 2G spectrum scam on Tuesday. HT reports.delhi Updated: Feb 21, 2011 13:04 IST
In a decision aimed to ensure smooth functioning of the budget session of Parliament beginning on Monday, the government is all set to announce a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) to probe the 2G spectrum scam on Tuesday.
The Opposition's demand for a JPC had virtually washed out the entire winter session of Parliament and threatened to disrupt the budget session.
Indications that the UPA government had finally decided to accept the Opposition's demand came at an all-party meeting convened by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Sunday.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh attended such a meeting for the first time.There was no official word on the move following finance minister Pranab Mukherjee's request to leaders not to divulge information to the media.
Some leaders, however, indicated that there was a broader agreement between the government and the Opposition.
"Why do you want me to break the niceties? The government has already agreed to a JPC. It has come out in the media," CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said.
On his part, the Prime Minister expressed the hope that the budget session would be peaceful, productive and fruitful.
"The government is ready to discuss any issue which may be brought by the Opposition. A lot of legislative work has to be accomplished. The budget of the central government has to be passed and this, therefore, is truly the most important session of Parliament," he said.
Sources said telecom minister Kapil Sibal is likely to move a motion to set up a JPC in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, which will be followed by a discussion on the issue.
While the speaker will announce the terms of reference of the JPC in the House, the other modalities - its composition, contours and time-frame - are being worked out.
But as indications emerged that a JPC might be formed on the 2G spectrum scam, the BJP raised its pitch and demanded widening of the scope of the probe to include other scams.
BJP leader Gopinath Munde said after the meeting that his party also wants a JPC probe into the Adarsh housing society and CWG scandals.
However, BJP ally JD(U) said the Opposition would not be rigid on this demand.
"We are open to discussing it," its chief Sharad Yadav said.
The government has ruled out this option so far.
Parliamentary affairs minister PK Bansal said that according to the rules of procedures of Parliament, a definite matter is needed to be mentioned in the motion and there cannot be a probe on a general issue like corruption.