Satyam board meets Saturday, second time in six days

January 16th, 2009 - 9:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Ramalinga RajuHyderabad, Jan 16 (IANS) The government-appointed directors of fraud-hit Satyam Computer Services meet here Saturday for the second time in six days to assess the company’s financial position and consider action to speedily put the firm back on rails as cooked up figures by founder B. Ramalinga Raju are making it difficult for the software industry to forecast the sector’s growth for 2008-09.The Saturday meet will be the first after the government added three more members to the board taking the number to six. It had named three members Jan 11.

The three members, Housing Development Finance Corporation chairman Deepak Parekh, former president of software sector’s umbrella body Nasscom Kiran Karnik and former SEBI member C. Achuthan had met here on Jan 12.

They announced that their first priority was to restate Satyam’s financial position as none had faith in the numbers given by Raju after his confession that he had overstated the figures to the tune of Rs.70 billion (Rs.7,000 crores).

The three new members of the board are Tarun Das, chief mentor of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), T.N. Manoharan, a noted chartered accountant, and Suryakant Balakrishnan, a nominee of the Life Insurance Corp of India. While Manoharan is a past president of the ICAI, Balakrishnan represents LIC, which is one of the largest investors in Satyam Computer Services.

Besides revisiting the figures, the six members will exchange views on probable candidates for the two top posts to lead the company - Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer.

The appointment of a CEO and a CFO are among the priority tasks of the new board, Parekh had said after the first meeting Jan 12.

The other concern is the company’s liquidity position, which according to Parekh seemed to be favourable provided the figures could be trusted.

He said Friday that the company has receivables (payment from customers) of Rs.17 billion (Rs.1,700 crore), which, however, have to be verified.

His comments on the recievables came after he met Corporate Affairs Minister Premchand Gupta amid talk of a possible government bailout package to help the company pay salaries, rents and health insurance premium.

Gupta, however, said the government was not offering any bailout to Satyam and the new board can approach financial institutions if funds were required.

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