The government on Tuesday did not accede to the Opposition demand in Rajya Sabha for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into Satyam Computer Services.
Corporate Affairs Minister Prem Chand Gupta said the government had just the previous day ordered a CBI investigation into the issue, and ignored the demand for a JPC. He however told the Opposition members that the government was ready to answer any question on the issue.
Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour, he said the collapse of Satyam is not in the long-term interest of the country. He said it was “very unfortunate”, and had shaken the confidence of the corporate sector in India and abroad and also investors as a whole.
Though it had put the corporate sector and the regulatory mechanism under a cloud, it is “an aberration” and not the practice, he felt. The Satyam scam dominated the question hour in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. Opposition members did not allow any other question to be taken up .
He said the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) under his ministry had been given three-months to wrap up its probe into the Satyam issue.
Commenting on the role of the auditors, Price Waterhouse, Gupta said Reserve Bank of India has no power to blacklist or ban any audit company. This comes under the purview of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, an independent and statutory body, he added.
Gupta said RBI had in October, 2004 issued advisory to banks not to engage Price Waterhouse after finding accounting deficiencies in Global Trust Bank (GBT), whose account it was auditing.