Cabinet discusses Prez address, JPC issue not mentioned

Posted By: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 15 (PTI) Formation of a JPC to probe the2G scam did not figure at the meeting of the Union Cabinettoday with the government giving enough hints beforehand tothe opposition that it has now virtually remained a formality.

The Cabinet meeting was devoted to finalising the addressof the President to the joint sitting of Parliament on theopening day of the Budget session on February 21, governmentsources said.

Presided by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the meetingwent into the draft of the President''s address para-by-paraand did not take up any other issue, they said.

The President''s address has always been a significantdocument which generally details the achievements andinitiatives of the government in the previous year and laysout a roadmap about programmes and policies in the year ahead.

The government, which has so far resisted setting up ofJPC, is now understood to be ready to announce it but notbefore a discussion is held in Parliament over the issue ofcorruption.

The issue of JPC was discussed at the Congress CoreGroup meeting, chaired by party President Sonia Gandhiyesterday and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had a meetingsometime back with the BJP Parliamentary Party Chairman L KAdvani to discuss the matter.

A senior minister said there is no mention of JPC inthe President''s address and the formation is expected to beannounced in Parliament itself after the modalities betweenthe government and the opposition on the terms of reference ofsuch a panel were settled.

The entire Winter Session was a washout with theopposition disrupting the proceedings of Parliament demandinga JPC probe into 2G spectrum allocation.

During an all-party meeting earlier this month, Mukherjeehad given a clear hint about government''s intention on the JPCissue by significantly remarking: "No price is high forrestoring the functioning of Parliament".

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