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JPC meet on 2G spectrum allocation postponed: P.C. Chacko

New Delhi, Apr. 25 (ANI): The crucial Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) meeting that was scheduled to be held today to adopt the draft report on 2G spectrum allocation issue has been postponed.

JPC chairman P.C. Chacko, who made this announcement, said that the meeting has been postponed following requests from several members over the demise of a sitting member.

One of the reasons for the postponement of the meeting was the death of sitting Lok Sabha MP from Howrah, Ambika Bannerjee, of the Trinamool Congress (TMC). TMC members of JPC had informed Chacko that they had to attend the funeral of the late Member of Parliament.

“The JPC meeting scheduled for today at 3 p.m. stands postponed. There is a request from members of various parties that the meeting be postponed because of the demise of a sitting member,” Chacko said.

“So, in view of this development I have consulted most of the senior members of the committee and they are all of the opinion that today we cannot have this meeting,” he added.

Chacko further said that a final decision will be taken today itself as to when the next meeting of the JPC would take place.

“Now, I am in consultation with the members. Some members have expressed their inconvenience for some days whether I can have it tomorrow or day after tomorrow I am in consultation with the members. Since it is a postponed meeting, I would like to have their opinion also taken, and today itself I will decide the next meeting date,” he said.

Chacko had earlier on Wednesday said he had replied to former Telecom Minister A. Raja’s 100-page letter, and therefore said the latter should not have any grouse over not being heard.

“Report of the JPC is based on records and the Parliament is functioning well within its limitations. I have also circulated that note to all the 30 members of the JPC, so he should not have any problems,” he said.

Raja had earlier on Monday lashed out at the JPC for not allowing him to depose before it, saying this is not the way the panel examining the 2G spectrum allocation is expected to function.

“This is not the way the JPC is expected to function. Even without waiting for my statement JPC prepared a draft report and also leaked it to the media,” said Raja.

“I always had concerns about the credibility of JPC,” he added.

Raja, who has been accused of indulging in a scam worth Rs. 1.76 lakh crore when in office, last week reiterated that he did everything in consultation with the Prime Minister, and said that he will prove his innocence in the 2G spectrum scam case.

Raja has repeatedly said that the Prime Minister and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram were in the loop over policy decisions related to 2G spectrum allocation.

According to media reports, a leaked draft report of the committee says Raja had tweaked the rules to award mobile permits to a few chosen companies, and that the Prime Minister and Finance Minister were not informed about the changes.

The draft report has given a clean chit to the Prime Minister on the 2G spectrum allocation, saying he was misled by the then Telecom Minister.

The report blames Raja for tweaking norms in favour of a few companies. It rubbishes the loss figure of 1.76 lakh crore rupees estimated by the CAG.

The 2G scam has damaged the reputation of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government and also tarnished the image of the country’s telecom sector.

Raja was forced to resign from the Union Cabinet after a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) faulted him for undervaluing spectrum to favour companies who were largely ineligible for 2G spectrum, and added that the government had probably lost Rs. 1.76 lakh crore in estimated revenue. (ANI)