PAC has every authority to call PM: Joshi

New Delhi: On a day when JPC into the 2G scam was set up, the Public Accounts Committee Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi said his panel has every authority to ask Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to appear before it.

"Absoultely (we can call the PM). We are still in possession of the letter written by the Prime Minister and if the committee feels it is necessary to call him we can do so," Joshi said in reply to a question.

Joshi`s remarks come on a day when the government set up a 30-member Joint Parliamentary Committee to go into the 2G spectrum allocation scam which is said to have caused a presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the national exchequer.

Asked when the Committee would call the Prime Minister to appear before the PAC, Joshi said "you will get to know when the committee decides".

Singh, in December, had written to the PAC expressing his willingness to appear before the panel in connection with the 2G scam.

In his letter, Singh said he was willing to appear before the panel should it choose to seek clarifications from him "though I believe there is no precedent of the Prime Minister appearing before a PAC".

Joshi said he will have to explain to Speaker Meira Kumar the logic for calling the Prime Minister to appear before it.

If the Speaker agrees, then the PAC can call the Prime Minister, he said.