Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dr. JP demands a thorough probe into Satyam fraud

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today demanded a thorough investigation by all regulatory agencies into the monumental accounting fraud in Satyam Computers and stringent punishment of all the guilty.

In a statement, Dr. JP pointed out that the colossal failure of the internationally reputed auditing firm PwC in the Satyam case reminded one of the role of Arthur Andersen in the Enron case and undermined people’s faith in corporate governance.

"It is possible that other corporate bodies too may have been resorting to accounting jugglery. It is high time that the Government and regulatory agencies thoroughly reviewed the accounting practices of all big corporate entities in the next few weeks and plugged all loopholes. An exercise on a war-footing is necessary to restore public confidence in Indian corporate governance both nationally and globally."

Dr. JP said that people, who forgot that real wealth creation lay in the production of goods and services fomented speculative bubbles in sectors like the stock market and the real estate. In the process, innocent people lost their all in chasing the mirages created by manipulators.

Dr. JP said that the quest for prominence and fear of losing power or position or influence made people resort to unethical practices and commit monumental blunders both in the corporate world and pubic life in general. A big corporate firm like Satyam had sought to maintain the illusion of profits instead of accepting and confronting the realities honestly. "It is a classic case of hubris and tragedy that overtakes when appearances become more important than realities."

Dr. JP said: "The one message that comes out loud and clear from the Satyam episode is that there is no point in shutting our eyes to realities. Despite the universal knowledge that corruption and malpractices have become integral to our public life we are feigning surprise each time something surfaces and after appropriate initial shock and horror, we forget about them. The real sufferers of our refusal or unwillingness to take note of the decay at the core are the poor and the marginal sections. We have to take stock of our failings collectively, acknowledge them honestly and address them swiftly and decisively."

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