MPs go back to school with JPC on 2G scam

New Delhi, May 18 (agencies): It was back to school for many MPs in the Joint Parliamentary Committee which on Wednesday began examining the alleged irregularities in the 2G spectrum allocation scam. The second meeting of the JPC, chaired by Congress leader P C Chacko, turned into a virtual classroom as members were briefed by officials of the Department of Telecom on basic issues like what is spectrum, the different technologies involved and how are signals amplified for use in telephony.
“It was back to school,” a young member of Parliament quipped after the first session on the technical and scientific dimension of the concept of radio frequency spectrum and its allocation. A veteran Rajya Sabha MP also spoke in similar vein when asked about the meeting of the JPC. The meeting took place in a cordial atmosphere as matters related to the continuance of BJP members Yashwant Sinha and Jaswant Singh -- the then Union Cabinet ministers who were part of decision-making in telecom sector between 1998-2008. “This matter has already been settled by the Speaker in her letter to the JPC,” a member said.
The JPC was set up through a Parliamentary resolution after a persistent demand by the Opposition for a thorough probe into the 2G spectrum scam which is believed to have caused a presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer. The constitution of the JPC also saw a brief turf war between Chacko and BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, who heads the Public Accounts Committee, which also examined the 2G spectrum allocation. Chacko and Joshi took their battle to the office of Speaker Meira Kumar, who asked both the Committees to work in close cooperation and harmony with each other.