Tarun Das among three new directors on Satyam board (Roundup)

January 15th, 2009 - 8:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Ramalinga RajuNew Delhi, Jan 15 (IANS) The government Thursday named three more directors to the Satyam Computer Services board, including Tarun Das, chief mentor of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), even as it rejected a bailout package for the fraud-hit company.Minister for Corporate Affairs P.C. Gupta also told reporters here that the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) was looking at a possible lapses by the firm’s previous auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers and would give its report soon.

He also said the Serious Fraud Investigating Office (SFIO) was examining not only the books of Satyam, but also seven other group companies, including those of Maytas Properties and Maytas Infrastructure, promoted by the sons of IT major’s former chairman B. Ramalinga Raju.

Gupta told the hurriedly-convened press conference that the other two directors named to the company’s board Thursday were 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.

Satyam major is facing a financial mess and a serious threat in continuing its operations because of a Rs.70 billion ($1.43 billion) fraud admitted last week by its founder and former chairman B. Ramalinga Raju.

“The government has appointed three people of eminence to the Satyam board in accordance to the nomination by the company law board (CLB),” Gupta said, adding he expected the SFIO to submit its report within three months.

The government had earlier nominated three members to Satyam’s board.

They are Deepak Parekh, chairman of Housing Development Finance Corp, Kiran Karnik, former president of the National Association of Software and Service Companies, and C. Achuthan, former member of the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

Earlier in the day, Minister of State for Industry Ashwani Kumar said the government has no plans to unveil a bailout package for fraud-hit Satyam Computer Services and the company’s new board will decide its future course of action.

“This government is not going to either directly or indirectly subsidise the wrongdoing and fraud in Satyam,” Kumar told reporters on the margins of an international conference on petroleum sector here Thursday.

“This is a decision that the new board of Satyam will take,” he said, referring to the three-member board appointed by the government last weekend to restore the confidence employees, investors and clients on the beleaguered company.

The corporate affairs minister also said that the board has not asked for any bailout package and that the company had enough resources and capability to continue with its affairs.

According to Kumar, the scam at Satyam was an aberration that will not hamper the growth of the Indian software and business process outsourcing industries that have earned an enviable reputation the world over.

“The government will try to ensure to the extent possible that the brand equity of the country’s IT sector and Satyam in terms of its intellectual capital is preserved and jobs are secured to the extent possible,” he said.

“We will do whatever we can to preserve and save jobs and to protect the good name of the Indian corporate sector,” he said, adding: “We will not intervene in the company. The new board will take the decisions.”

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