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MPs quiz Sinha on UTI debacle

Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, July 6

THE Finance Minister, Mr Yashwant Sinha, today got a taste of what to expect during the monsoon session, with several members of Parliament raising the issue of the UTI debacle at the meeting of the Consultative Committee on Finance.

Though the meeting was convened to discuss public debt, the agenda was soon forgotten as members seemed to be exercised over the fate of millions of small investors. Mr N.D.Tiwari, a former minister, said that there was no accountability in the investmen t institution.

UTI was set up under an Act of Parliament in 1964 and, therefore, MPs are upset that they do not have much say in ensuring accountability in the institution.

Seeing that members were upset over the recent turn of events at UTI, the Finance Minister had to intervene and brief them about the developments in the Trust. According to officials here, Mr Sinha assured them that the interests of investors would be fu lly protected.

Opposition parties have signalled that they would be taking on the Government on this issue. The Joint Parliamentary Committee will also scrutinise the investments of UTI in relation to this year's securities scam.

With the agenda of today's meeting being derailed, little attention was devoted by the committee to public debt. The Public Debt Act is in for changes with the Government planning to enact a new law -- the Government Securities Act.

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