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JPC set up to probe 2G spectrum, telecom policy
Published on 25 Feb. 2011 1:03 AM IST
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Giving in to the opposition’s relentless demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC), the government Thursday formed a 30-member multiparty panel to probe alleged irregularities in the 2G spectrum allocation and to also look into the telecom policy from 1998 to 2009.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee moved a motion in the Lok Sabha to set up a JPC that has been asked to submit its report by the end of the monsoon session this year - most likely by end August or early September. It will have 30 members, including the chairman -- 20 members from the Lok Sabha and 10 from the Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha passed the motion through a voice vote but not before a heated debate over the delay by the government in forming the panel.
Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj asked the government whether the opposition’s demand for a JPC was unconstitutional.
Mukherjee replied that the government was never against a JPC probe into the 2G spectrum allotment but was of the view that the matter was being investigated by multiple agencies.
IT and Communication Minister Kapil Sibal got a lot of flak for alleging that Sushma Swaraj was skilful in presenting truth as false and the vice versa. Several opposition members objected to the remark forcing Sibal to apologise and say he did not mean any offence.
Congress has eight Lok Sabha MPs in the panel and BJP six. The Congress members include P.C. Chacko, Manish Tewari, Jai Prakash Agarwal and V. Kishore Chandra Deo. From the BJP, the panel members include former ministers Jaswant Singh and Yashwant Sinha.
Speaker Meira Kumar will nominate one of the members of the committee as its chairman.
The motion for the formation of JPC will now be referred to the Rajya Sabha for the approval and nomination of 10 members from the upper house.

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