Davos, Feb 01: Assuring the global audience that India`s regulatory systems are strong, the country`s government and corporate leaders described the multi-crore Satyam scandal as a one-off incident and said bigger frauds have happened in other countries.
Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal, Rajya Sabha MP N K Singh and India Brand Equity Foundation CEO Aparna Dutt Sharma – all present at the WEF meeting -- did not allow themselves to be put on the defensive on the Satyam issue.
Ahluwalia said that while Satyam has been a negative development, the Indian authorities have taken corrective action.
He said the Satyam scandal would not have long-term damaging impact on India "as long as we handle it properly and it is seen that wrongdoers are not allowed to get away with it; quick corrective actions are taken and I think ... authorities are doing that."
When asked whether he faced tough questions on India`s biggest corporate scam, Ahluwalia said: "One or two people have drawn attention to the fact that Satyam has been seen as a very negative development, but they appreciated that it is not only in India that these things happen, you have frauds in Europe, you have frauds in the US ..."
The Satyam scandal came to light on January 7, with a confession from the company`s founder B Ramalinga Raju that he had been cooking the firm`s books for several years. Raju`s confession not only shocked India Inc but investors all over the world.