Rs 2,000 crore dole for Satyam | business | Hindustan Times
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Rs 2,000 crore dole for Satyam

After six days of fear about the company going belly up, employees and investors of the embattled technology giant Satyam Computer Services Ltd can breathe easy, as the government considers a corporate rescue plan. Gaurav Choudhury reports. Govt votes for employees

business Updated: Jan 14, 2009 01:25 IST
Gaurav Choudhury

After six days of fear about the company going belly up, employees and investors of the embattled technology giant Satyam Computer Services Ltd can breathe easy, as the government considers a corporate rescue plan.

A Rs 2,000 crore liquidity injection package is being seriously considered through a special short-term loan from a clutch of public-sector banks after initial investigations showed the company’s cash position was precarious.

Satyam’s annual wage bill for the current year is estimated to be about Rs 6,000 crore, while about Rs 1,500 crore is required to pay next three months’ salaries to its 53,000 employees.

Another Rs 500 crore would be required to meet other immediate operational needs to keep the company afloat that finds itself mired in a web of financial irregularities after the stunning confessions of its disgraced chairman B. Ramalinga Raju.

On Tuesday, PM Manmohan Singh held discussions with senior colleagues about the measures taken in the wake of what is being billed as India’s biggest corporate fraud. External affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee, home minister P. Chidambaram, commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath, corporate affairs minister P.C. Gupta and Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia attended.

Sources, who did not wish to be identified, said the recently constituted new board — comprising HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh, IT veteran Kiran Karnik and legal expert C. Achuthan — has indicated to the government Satyam's working capital requirements needed immediate attention and it expects the government to provide temporary liquidity to overcome the crisis.

“The government is concerned about the fate of the thousands of employees and lakhs of shareholders of Satyam and no stone will be left unturned to safeguard their interests,” Gupta said.

Investigations into the alleged fraud were handed over to the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), a multidisciplinary agency empowered to investigate major economic offences that have substantial regulatory and public interest. “The SFIO has been asked to look into all aspects and to give its report within three months,” Gupta said.

Govt votes for employees