New Delhi, Feb 24 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday spoke extensively in both houses of parliament, both during question hour and replying to the debate on the motion of thanks on the president’s address, and clarified on various allegations levelled against his government by the opposition.
Here are some excerpts:
– On 2G scam: People talk of scams. And if there is a scam, it must be dealt with, but we must also not overlook the fact of the telecom sector’s growth.
There is nothing wrong in the telecom policy (of issuing spectrum licences on the first come first serve basis). Our government has continued the same path and that policy has paid rich dividends. The controversies over the 2G spectrum should not have happened. But if anyone is found guilty, he will be severely dealt with under the due process of law.
These problems are now being looked into by the JPC (joint parliamentary committee), PAC (public accounts committee) and the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation). Our government will fully cooperate with all these agencies to ensure that truth comes out.
– On S-band spectrum deal: There is no question of the Prime Minister’s Office being asked to approve the deal. It never came to that level.
– On inflation: Inflation in the last 18 months has become a problem. We stand committed to control inflation. By the end of this fiscal year (March), I hope the inflation will come down to seven percent…I expect the food inflation to go down as well…I expect the situation to improve.
– On black money issue: We are one with the opposition that everything should be done to bring back to India the black money stashed abroad.
We all want to clean up our system of this menace. We all know black money accumulation is not a product of last three or four years, but has taken place over a very long period.
– On Kashmir: We will do everything to strengthen the hands of the state government to provide a fairer deal to the youths of Jammu and Kashmir and provide 50,000 to one lakh jobs to Kashmiris.
– On Pakistan: We are willing to resolve all outstanding issues with Pakistan. We sincerely hope Pakistan will grasp our hand of friendship.