Joshi believes in PAC's vast powers

Speaker's luncheon meet fails to break ice

While Joshi made it amply clear that as a BJP member he was fully committed to the demand for a JPC to look into the broader questions related to corruption, the main opposition party said it was in no mood to give up its JPC demand.

“As a member of the BJP, I stand fully committed to the demand for the formation of   JPC to look into the broader questions related to corruption facing the country today,” he said.

At the same time, Joshi said, “As the chairman of the PAC, I believe in the committee’s vast powers in bringing greater accountability to public spending. I commit myself to playing this role effectively.”

The statement came after a reported meeting between Joshi and BJP president Nitin Gadkari who is believed to have conveyed party’s concerns over the perception that he was toeing a line different from the party which is spearheading the campaign for a JPC probe into the 2G scam.

Contending that the “issues of corruption during UPA-II” are of “great concern for the people of India”, Joshi said the PAC which he heads would look into the matters of public spending based on the CAG reports.

“The PAC has a constitutional jurisdiction and its function is well laid out. It shall function within its purview and within the rules and procedure of the Parliament. It shall make sure that every paisa of public money is well accounted for,” he said.

He noted that the PAC does not deal just with the Telecom Ministry but analyses every report of the CAG dealing with the various ministries.   Meanwhile, the luncheon meeting hosted by the Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar here on Thursday failed to break the logjam that led to collapse of the winter session without transacting a single-day business.

BJP leaders L K Advani and Sushma Swaraj represented the opposition in Kumar’s meeting whereas Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V Narayanasamy represented the government. 

Keen to end the impasse, Mukherjee had suggested convening a special session of Parliament in January to discuss whether the issue could be investigated by the JPC or the ongoing PAC probe is sufficient. But the Opposition rejected the proposal firming their demand bringing a cloud of uncertainty on the fate of the budget session.

The Left and other opposition leaders who was also with BJP in demanding JPC will meet the Speaker on Friday.

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