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PM reviews Satyam case with ministers

business Updated: Jan 13, 2009 20:40 IST

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday held discussions with his senior colleagues in the face of developments in the Satyam Computer Services case, which is billed as the the country's biggest corporate fraud.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P Chidambaram, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath, Corporate Affairs Minster P C Gupta and Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia attended the meeting.

Various government agencies and regulators have acted in coordination to deal with the crisis following startling disclosures by B Ramalinga Raju, the founder chairman of the Satyam, unfolding a Rs 7,800-crore scam.

"The Prime Minister is closely monitoring the Satyam developments", a PMO source said.

Nath had said yesterday that the government was open to extending financial support to salvage the troubled IT company.

The government has already ordered an inquiry into the Satyam case by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), an organisation that probes economic offenses of grave nature.

The Prime Minister yesterday held discussions with Securities and Exchange Board of India Chairman C B Bhave and senior Finance Ministry officials. He also asked Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar to co-ordinate the government approach on the issue.

The government had earlier superseded the board of Satyam and appointed a three-member board comprising HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh, Nasscom past president Kiran Karnik and past presiding officer of the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) C Achuthan.

The new board held its first meeting on Monday and decided to appoint an auditor to vet the books of accounts of the company.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has ordered probe into the books of accounts of the eight Satyam Group companies, including Maytas Infra and Maytas Properties whose USD 1.6-billion acquisition by the IT company was aborted following protests from the shareholders.

The MCA is likely to receive the inspection report of the eight Satyam Group companies in three to four weeks time.