Melbourne, Sep. 15 (ANI): The Government of Victoria's decision to give a grant to Indian software giant Satyam Computers now Mahindra Satyam despite failing a federal government litmus test for funding is shrouded in mystery.
The grant by Victoria controversially enabled the original firm to embark on the 75 million dollar Geelong IT project.
Mahindra Satyam canceled the project, which was to have created 2000 jobs and contributed 175 million dollars in economic activity for Victoria, last week.
Federal Innovation Minister Kim Carr last year unveiled the 24 million dollar Geelong Investment and Innovation Fund (GIIF) established after Ford Australia decided to restructure its manufacturing operations in the region.
The fund was made up of 15 million dollars in Commonwealth funding, six million dollars from the Victorian government and the remainder from Ford.
According to a spokeswoman for Senator Carr, department officials had initial conversations with Satyam on whether the company would be eligible for the scheme and Satyam was told that it did not meet the criteria for the GIIF.
In Freedom of Information documents obtained by the Victorian state opposition, Treasurer and ICT minister John Lenders approved an undisclosed amount of cash advance to Satyam as part of its "investment attraction package".
A spokesman for state opposition treasury spokesman Kim Wells said the discrepancy was "mysterious".
"The state government is saying one thing and the federal another," Wells said.
A spokesman for Lenders could not explain why Satyam was given Victorian taxpayer dollars despite the GIIF saga. (ANI)