New Delhi. A week after he was released on bail, former Satyam Computers founder-chairman Ramalinga Raju has been appointed the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. Raju will take over as the new CAG with immediate effect and review all the earlier reports of the outgoing CAG Vinod Rai.
“We need someone like Sri Ramalinga Raju as CAG,” union minister Kapil Sibal announced the new appointment, “Raju could create wealth where none existed. He could bring cash in excess of what could have been counted. He could make Satyam earn interests on NPAs, and he could write off huge liabilities. Such an acumen and ability is not to be found easily in men, and India could benefit from his experiences in these troubled times.”
It should be noted that Raju had confessed to doing such financial and accounting jugglery in January 2009, after which he resigned and was subsequently arrested on charges of fraud.
Kapil Sibal, who has often argued that CAG had erred in calculating the losses due to the 2G spectrum allocation process, claimed that Raju would prove to be a better CAG.
“People laughed at my zero-loss theory, but I’m sure the new CAG can show that the government of India actually benefited from the 2G spectrum scam,” he hoped.
Within an hour of his appointment, Ramalinga Raju joined office and asked for all the CAG reports related to the 2G scam, CWG scam, Adarsh scam, etc. to be tabled before him. Raju didn’t take any oath of secrecy or transparency on his appointment, as this process was deemed to be irrelevant.
Stock Markets reacted positively and BSE jumped over 420 points as soon as the news was broken about Ramalinga Raju’s new role. Shares of telecom and real estate companies were the biggest gainers as stocks continued the upward trend the whole day.
“Ramalinga can kill the Ravana of inflation with his divine prowess. I guess the UPA government has finally taken a market-friendly decision,” stock broker Harshad Maytas welcomed the development and wished that Raju was roped in for a bigger role in corporate affairs in India.
There were some disapproving voices too in the corporate world, who thought that Ramalinga Raju was guilty of unfair practices and a symbol of bad corporate governance. However, no one was willing to comment on record as they feared Congress leader Digvijay Singh raising question marks over their own practices and ethical behavior.
(originally written for and published in English daily DNA)