Nothing wrong in PAC
calling PM over note ban
January 13, 2017
Can the PAC call
the Prime Minister over demonetisation?
There is nothing wrong in the PAC calling the PM. The panel has
called the Reserve Bank of India governor and finance ministry
officials on January 20 to give a brief on the impact of
demonetisation. If the panel decides on calling the PM, and the
Lok Sabha Speaker grants permission, it can be done.
But, is there a precedent?
During the PAC hearings on the allocation of 2G spectrum issue,
the BJP member Murli Manohar Joshi had wanted the then PM
Manmohan Singh to be summoned. Earlier in 1966, the PAC had
called then Heavy Industries Minister C Subramaniam. In 1992,
whilst hearing the Harshad Mehta securities scam, the panel had
called then Finance Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister
But, how would calling the PM help?
Not only is But, is there a precedent?he the first among
equals, he made the announcement to invalidate high-value
currency notes. He is the best man to explain its impact.
Are you also planning to call former Union ministers?
We may call Manmohan Singh and former Finance Minister P
Chidambaram, in their capacity as financial experts.
Has the BJP member Nishikant Dubey urged you to withdraw your
comment on the PM?
I have not received any communication from him.
But the BJP members in the PAC are miffed, and may raise the
issue when the panel meets on January 13.
The panel has been working collectively and has so far produced
75 reports. I get cooperation from all members across party
You’ve been a Union food minister yourself. Is a cashless
economy the way forward?
We are an agrarian economy that runs on cash. I am also not sure
about the safety and security of digital payment systems and/or
the technology that supports the same. Do we have enough ATMs to
support the government’s cashless agenda?
You are also a lawmaker in the Lower House of Parliament as
member of the Congress party, which has vehemently opposed
I think the PM took the decision without consulting the
financial experts. Maybe this was done to fulfil his political
ambition. But the move instead has plunged the entire country
into a financial quagmire; people have lost their jobs (some
even their lives) and most are out of pocket.
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