New Delhi: The government on Friday said it was business as usual at Satyam Computer ever since a new board took its reins following an accounting scam, which the Corporate Affairs Minister described as an aberration.
“Satyam is a stand alone case. Our corporate sector is very matured and our IT sector is respected worldwide,” Prem Chand Gupta, Minister of Corporate Affairs, said in the Lok Sabha during Question Hour.
Different investigating agencies -- Sebi, Registrar of Companies (RoC) and Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) -- are looking into the fraud and “I assure you that those found guilty would be meted out severe punishment.”
With regard to two companies promoted by Satyam founder Ramalinga Raju’s family -- Maytas Infra and Maytas Properties, the minister said that “as per the initial investigations certain interconnection has been found and therefore, SFIO’s ambit of investigation has been expanded to these two firms also.”
CPI-M member Rupchand Pal, however, alleged that the scamster (referring to the main accused Ramalinga Raju) is being protected.
“Operation cover-up is going on... the scamster is under protected custody and enjoying 5-star facilities,” Pal said.
BJP member L.N. Pandey alleged that the government was aware of irregularities even before 7 January, the day when Raju disclosed Rs7,800 crore financial scam, as movement in Satyam scrip was investigated during the Ketan Parekh scam.
To this, Gupta gave details of the investigations that took place in 2001-2002 and pointed out that the then government had cleared it.
“It is unfortunate that now you are trying to give political colour to Satyam episode,” he said and asked the members not to politicise this.
The government is alert and every possible action is being taken to make the company function normally. “Many national and international companies are dealing with Satyam ... As many as 175 MNCs give work to this IT firm,” he said.
The government’s first priority was to restore normal functioning and take care of 53,000 employees of the IT firm.
“Satyam is doing well. The government-appointed board has been appreciated by all, including the political leaders, and they are doing their job. Various investigative agencies are working in a coordinated manner in association with the state authorities and agencies,” he said.
Gupta, however, declined to elaborate on the ongoing investigation, saying “unless a clear picture is there I would not like to reveal anything.”