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Attrition rate not ‘alarming’ in Satyam despite problems: Karnik

Attrition rate not ‘alarming’ in Satyam despite problems: Karnik
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First Published: Sun, Mar 22 2009. 10 28 PM IST
Updated: Sun, Mar 22 2009. 10 27 PM IST
Mumbai: Satyam Computer Services Ltd, at the centre of India’s biggest corporate fraud, has not seen an “alarming” attrition level despite the company’s present troubles, its chairman said.
“We do not have any alarming attrition level in the company,” said Kiran Karnik, a former head of software lobby group Nasscom.
The government had dismissed Satyam’s board on 10 January and replaced it with six members headed by Karnik, after the software firm’s founder B. Ramalinga Raju on 7 January resigned as chairman and admitted to having fudged the company’s accounts to the tune of at least Rs7,136 crore over several years.
Recent media reports had said that the Hyderabad-based company lost nearly 3,500 of its staff in the past one month on account of the uncertainty surrounding its future.
“What we see here is normal attrition. In an organization, which has around 50,000 employees, this is normal,” Karnik said.
The comment came as Satyam’s suitors, including India’s largest engineering firm Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T), Mahindra Group’s Tech Mahindra Ltd and B.K. Modi’s Spice group have asked for client and employee details of the firm before they finalize their bids for a majority stake in the company.
Satyam’s board had given time until 20 March to the interested parties to submit their bids for acquiring a 51% stake in the company along with proof of Rs1,500 crore in cash.
Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is conducting a probe into the fraud at Satyam, believes the scandal involves a much bigger amount than what was disclosed by the company’s founder.
Officials said the agency has retrieved at least 7,000 fake invoices and forged documents showing fixed deposits and bank balances, and their evaluation shows that the size of the fraud is at least Rs9,600 crore.
They said that during the investigation, CBI found that the accused relied heavily on technology to generate nearly 7,000 fake invoices to the tune of Rs4,500 crore and fed the same into Satyam’s books.
They said these inflated figures also reflected on the balance sheet in the form of audit reports which helped the company to cheat the public purchasing its shares.
The buck did not stop here as the accused also have given false and fabricated statements, found by CBI, about high capital of the company.
The accused forged documents and created fake fixed deposit receipts to the tune of Rs3,300 crore, officials said.
The fixed deposit receipts were shown by the accused as available deposits by the company, they said, adding that the accused had also allegedly manipulated the bank guarantees to show the balance in bank accounts as Rs1,800 crore.
CBI said the accused had forged bank documents showing the existence of cash balance in five banks but the banks clarified that they do not have any cash balance in the name of the firm.
CBI is at present questioning Satyam’s disgraced founder, and others including the auditors of Price Waterhouse. Their custody was handed over to CBI on Saturday for two days.
Besides Raju, his brother B. Rama Raju, former chief financial officer Srinivas Vadlamani, Price Waterhouse partners S. Gopalakrishnan and Talluri Srinivas are in jail awaiting trial in connection with the case.
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First Published: Sun, Mar 22 2009. 10 28 PM IST