Second time in less than a fortnight Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has reiterated his government’s resolve to punish all those who have indulged in corruption.
Speaking in the Parliament today Dr Singh attacked the Opposition and assured the country that he would leave no stone unturned in cleaning the public life.
“People talk of scams, if there is a scam it has to be looked into and action should be taken against those involved in it. If people start doubting intentions then it is not good for parliamentary growth. No wrongdoer will be spared. Nobody will escape the law. Action has been taken against the wrongdoers as and when there has been credible evidence. The Government will do everything to clean the public life of corruption,” said Singh.
On the Commonwealth Games scandal he reiterates that “if there is a scam, it must be dealt with the law of the land. Law of the land must punish the wrong doers… No wrongdoer should escape punishment from the legal system in the Commonwealth Games.”
On the 2G scam Prime Minister stuck to the line that he took during his last press conference with the TV journalists that the quantum of loss estimated by different agencies does not have a basis.
“There was nothing wrong in the policy on 2G licence. I felt for level playing field it was appropriate we should continue on the path that we followed until 2007,”said the PM.
On the S Band spectrum deal Dr Singh blamed the previous non Congress government for the policy of allotment of satellite band to the private players.
“The decision to open satellite services to non government companies was taken by a non Congress government in 1997. There has been no allocation of terrestrial spectrum to Antrix or Devas and reports of loss of several lakh crore rupees have no basis,” argued the Dr Singh.
This comment he made in the context of the controversial deal between Devas Multimedia and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) commercial arm Antrix Corporation Ltd. The deal has since been scrapped.
Furthering his argument on this front the Prime Minister said that “the Antrix Corporation entered into a contract in January 2005 with Devas for lease of transponders to be built by ISRO. The contract didn’t become operation as the licenses were not given by the concerned ministries. This was followed by a decision by the Space Commission to annul the contract,”
On the issue of black money Singh asked for cooperation from the Opposition and underscored the need to change the law in this connection.
“Accumulation of black money is not the product of last four-five years and has been there for long years. We will sit together with parties and seek their help to see how black money problem can be dealt with. All constructive suggestions will be considered. We are one with the Opposition that everything should be done to bring back black money stashed abroad. .I would be the last one to deny that we have a long way to go. We need more competition in our country to stimulate our economy. We need a very sensitive regulatory system; we have to revisit the regulatory framework in order to check on the black money. We can counter such tendencies,” he emphasized.
Issue of corruption and black money has dented the image of the UPA 2. Fearing its repercussion in coming Assembly elections in different parts of the country the government is acting tough and has made number of arrests of high profile people.
Some experts see this as an attempt to regain the initiatives and blunt the attack of the resurgent Opposition.