Public Accounts Committee headed by KV Thomas to take up AgustaWestland case

New Delhi: Public Accounts Committee of Parliament headed by senior Congress leader K V Thomas, which was reconstituted this week, is likely to take up the contentious AgustaWestland case, an issue which has created a political firestorm both within and outside Parliament.

The panel is also likely to continue with its inquiry into some aspects of 2G scam, Commonwealth Games scam and the issue of burgeoning Non Performing Assets (NPAs) of Public Sector Banks, which had been gone into by the last PAC, whose term ended on 30 April.

A member of the committee, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the panel is likely to take up the chopper scam as the Comptroller and Auditor General had made some adverse comments against it in its report in the past which is already with Parliament.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

"A decision on the issues to be taken up by the PAC this time will be finalized in our first meeting likely in a fortnight after the end of the session. We are keen that AgustaWestland issue is taken up and it will be taken up," the member said.

When contacted, the Chairman of the PAC K V Thomas, however, remained guarded.

Asked about the possibility of the PAC taking up AgustaWestland issue, Thomas said,"usually PAC takes up any issue the CAG has examined after it submits its report in Parliament. Sometimes the PAC takes any issue suo moto as well like the last PAC did in case of NPA," he said.

Pressed further whether the PAC will take up the AgustaWestland issue, Thomas evaded a direct reply, saying "All these issues will be decided when the PAC meets."

The CAG had submitted a report on the acquisition of the VVIP helicopters on 13 August, 2013, concluding that the process, from framing of quality requirements to the conclusion of the contract, differed from established procurement procedures.

The CAG findings were widely referred to when the issue was discussed in Parliament this week with both the ruling and the Opposition benches trying to browbeat each other.

The reconstituted PAC, which will have a term of one year starting from 1 May this year to 30 April, 2017, is yet to hold its first meeting.

The 21-member reconstituted panel has seven members from Rajya Sabha---Naresh Agrawal, Satyavrat Chaturvedi Bhubaneswar Kalita, Shantaram Naik (Congress), Vijay Goel, Ajay Sancheti (BJP) and Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (TMC).

It has 15 members from Lok Sabha including Kirit Somaiya, Anurag Singh Thakur, Nishikant Dubey, Janardan Singh Sigriwal, Riti Pathak, Abhishek Singh, Shivkumar C Udasi (BJP), Sudip Bandyopadhyay (TMC), Prem Singh Chandumajra (Akali Dal), nominated MP from Kerala Richard Hay, Gajanan Chandrakant Kirtikar (Shiv Sena), Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJD), Neiphiu Rioh (Nagaland Peoples Front) and P Venugopal (AIADMK).

Updated Date: May 08, 2016 11:21 AM

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