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Independent auditors have let us down: Sibal

January 20, 2009 18:13 IST

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Contending that independent auditors were a let-down in the Satyam [Get Quote] fraud case, Union Minister for Science and Technology Kapil Sibal on Tuesday suggested setting up a body on the lines of the Election Commission to oversee their (auditors') functioning.

"We need to change the system, on the basis of which we appoint these independent regulators. We need to make sure that they are not necessarily accountable directly to the government or that they have a secure tenure through which they can attain independence like the Election Commission," he said.

Speaking at the CII Partnership Summit in New Delhi, Sibal pointed out that the term of Election Commissioners cannot be cut short except through very stringent procedures.

"We need independent regulators to ensure that whichever part of the economy they regulate, they do it independent of the government structure or the political structure," he said.

"You have the independent regulators, independent directors, independent auditors in the context of the Companies Act. What have these independent auditors done? I don't want to take examples. But they have let us down," Sibal said.

Later, he told reporters that Satyam case does not raise doubts about Indian industry. "There are a lot of shining stars in the country who will ensure that the flag of India will fly very high," Sibal said, adding this was an example of unethical corporate behaviour.

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