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Tuesday, August 14, 2001

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JPC to question UTI top brass on US-64

Jayanta Mallick

KOLKATA, Aug. 13

THE Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) will shoot a fresh set of questions to the Unit Trust of India's top functionaries shortly in view of the enlarged scope of its probe into the scam and the UTI's involvement.

Mr P. M. Tripathi, JPC Chairman, told Business Line over telephone from New Delhi that the first set of questions had focussed on the UTI's stock market exposures in line with the JPC's original terms of references. ``The present series of questions are to directed mainly towards US-64 and related issues,'' Mr Tripathi explained.

He said the JPC had decided to seek more time from the Government to finalise the report. ``The course of developments has forced us to seek an extension. As more and more entities are found to have been linked to the scam, it is becoming difficult to st ick to the timetable''.

The JPC was aiming at completing the report by the end of the monsoon session of Parliament. ``We are tentatively looking at a timeframe that will coincide with the close of the winter session'', Mr Tripathi maintained.

The JPC intends to place a comprehensive report on all the aspects of the scam encompassing the banking system, the stock market, the UTI, financial institutions, overseas corporate bodies (particularly those based in the Mauritius, a range of corporates , and also certain individuals.

He said the UTI connection had changed the complexion of the investigation totally. ``However, the UTI will be a major part of a single report'', he added.

Even though an enlargement in the terms of terms of reference ``will not mean much of a reorganisation in the method and mode of probe'', it will require a greater number of sittings, the JPC chief remarked.

So far, during the monsoon session so far, the committee has not been able to hold a single session. It has, therefore, been decided that the committee's sittings would begin after the conclusion of the session.

``We had to take this decision because of the workload of the MPs during the session. Two meetings had to be cancelled. It was found impossible for them to attend to the demanding tasks of the JPC after Parliament hours.''

Mr Tripathi said that the cross-examination of witnesses from the UTI, SEBI, RBI and other agencies would start in the first week of September.

Related links:
JPC probe to cover UTI too
JPC to examine RBI, Madhavpura, UTI officials
JPC to probe fund erosion in UTI schemes

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