My Dear Professional Colleagues,
The Institute and the Accountancy profession in India have been playing a pivotal and proactive role as an important pillar in the Nation’s development and economic growth. With resolute efforts the profession has earned the trust of all the stakeholders. The Institute has led by example in being at the forefront of promoting excellence by suo moto adopting and introducing best financial reporting and auditing global practices in India to take the profession to newer heights of excellence and creating a trustworthy investment climate in India. We as dedicated professionals of this noble profession have raised the bar with the evolving times to contribute meaningfully to protect the public interest.
|The Chartered Accountants, The Cost and Works Accountants and The Company Secretaries (Amendment) Act, 2022|
|The Chartered Accountants, the Cost and Works Accountants and the Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill, 2022 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 17th December, 2022 and thereafter referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance. The Bill was considered by both the Houses and passed by Lok Sabha on 30th March, 2022 and Rajya Sabha on 5th April, 2022 without any amendment. The same has received the assent of the Hon’ble President of India on 18th April, 2022. Some of the important provisions included in the Amendment Act are relating to the change in the composition of Board of Discipline and Disciplinary Committee including fixation of timelines for various disciplinary processes, formation of a Coordination Committee of the three professional institutes, and power to take actions against firms. I would like to inform that many of the provisions including power to take actions against firms, enhanced penalty for falsely claiming to be a member, maintenance of Register of Firms, duration of the Council term were earlier recommended by the Institute only. The Act makes no mention of the Indian Institute of Accountants (IIA). The Hon’ble Finance Minister stated in the Parliament during the course of debate that “I recognise the importance of the three pillars, the Chartered Accountants, the Cost Accountants and Company Secretaries in the corporate governance structure. The Hon’ble Minister also said the objective is also to strengthen all the three of them without, in any way, affecting the autonomy that they enjoy”.|
Our reputation as an institution and as profession is built by sheer determination, continuous knowledge enrichment, readiness to lead the change and adapting to the evolving environment. The way our profession has adopted technology and transformed itself to support the economy during the pandemic is a testimony to its commitment, ethos and excellence.
In this dynamic scenario, we will continue to take all necessary steps and leave no stone unturned to further enhance the quality of the profession and work towards converting the challenges into opportunities. Let us have a look at some of the Institute’s recent activities:
|Strategy Meeting and Meeting with Past Presidents|
|In view of the recent developments, a full day Strategy meeting of the Council members was held on 5th April to brainstorm and delve deeply to develop a strategy for positioning the profession in the right perspective amongst the stakeholders, capacity building of the profession for sunrise sectors and augmenting digital capabilities of the profession. Further, a meeting of Past Presidents was also held the next day to gain from their valuable wisdom and experience to take necessary steps for betterment of the profession as a partner in nation building. Participation of a record number of Past Presidents in the meeting is a reflection of their continued commitment for the wellbeing of the profession.|
|Meeting with SEBI Chairperson|
|Recently, I alongwith Vice President CA. Aniket Sunil Talati met Chairperson, SEBI, Ms. Madhabi Puri Buch. ICAI is partnering with SEBI in its initiative of having Social Stock Exchange and is in the process of formulating the Standards for Social Audit, framework and Code of Conduct for Social Auditors who would function under the regulatory framework of Social Stock Exchange and conduct Social Audits. The meeting also discussed the importance of Digital Assurance and the need for the two regulators to join hands in the interest of the nation.|
|Meeting with NFRA Chairperson|
|Accompanied by Vice-President ICAI CA. Aniket Sunil Talati, CA.(Dr.) Sanjeev Kumar Singhal Chairman, AASB, CA. Pramod Jain, Chairman, ASB and I also had the occasion to meet the new Chairperson of the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA), Dr. Ajay Bhushan Prasad Pandey who recently assumed office. We discussed about the matters of professional interest relevant to both the Regulators and how both can cohesively work for better corporate governance.|
|Update on New Scheme for Education and Training|
|As you are aware, the ICAI is in the process of introducing a New Scheme for Education and Training. The new Scheme will be in conformity with the international best practices, aligned to National Education Policy 2020, expectations of the industry and technological advancements. The new Scheme was submitted for in-principle approval of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, and recently on 8th April, 2022 detailed deliberations on the same were held with the Ministry.|
Bharat Ratna Dr. B R Ambedkar, principal architect of Indian Constitution, who fought for the betterment of the poor and oppressed classes, a man with a vision for an inclusive India and who believed in enterprise and education as tools to transform society has stated “Humans are mortal. So are ideas. An idea needs propagation as much as a plant needs watering. Otherwise both will wither and die.” I am sure the idea of the new Scheme of Education and Training, will bring transformative changes in the profession.
|State Level Conference on Investor Education and Awareness at Guwahati|
|Building a foundation for a financially resilient India is a monumental and noteworthy task for the accountancy profession. I alongwith my Council colleague CA. Anuj Goyal attended the State Level Conference for Investor Education and Awareness, hosted by the Guwahati Branch of ICAI. The event was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Governor of Assam, Prof. Jagdish Mukhi who emphasised the importance of capital markets education and financial inclusion. He applauded the efforts of the Institute of Chartered Accountants India and Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority (IEPFA) for increasing investor awareness and financial literacy in the state of Assam by organising such programs. The various initiatives of the ICAI including the Financial and Tax Literacy drive for developing a financially literate society were presented in the Conference.|
|ICAI’s Research initiative on Cryptocurrencies|
|As we all know, the Budget 2022 has brought Digital Assets under the gambit of taxation. This necessitates additional clarity on this emerging area which must be addressed swiftly with clarity. The Digital Accounting and Assurance Board of our Institute is working on bringing out a research paper on the Accounts, Audit, Taxation & Technological aspects of Cryptocurrencies.|
|Online Process for Formation of Networking of CA Firms Launched|
|Networking is generally considered as the most effective platform for capacity building. It facilitates multi-locational presence of the firm, strengthening partnerships and enhanced functioning. To inspire and motivate Indian CA firms to form network, grow and move towards the vision of building leading CA firms from India, the new networking guidelines were approved by the Council last year. To further smoothen and expedite registrations, online process for formation of Network of CA firms has been launched. The networking feature is available under Firm Module in Self Service Portal (SSP) and members can now directly apply through the Portal for approval and registration of Network.|
|Mentorship Programme to join Civil Services|
|To motivate our members and students to be agents of change and more actively contribute in the growth of the society by joining different Civil services, I am happy to inform that the Committee for Members in Entrepreneurship and Public Service of the ICAI has launched a weekend online programme namely ‘Civil Services Orientation & Mentorship Programme’ for Chartered Accountants and CA Students aspiring to join Civil Services. The Orientation Programme was inaugurated by CA. Suresh Prabhu, Hon’ble Member of Parliament who appreciated the initiative of the ICAI. The objective is to provide an overview of the topics covered in the civil services examination and to provide basic information on the course content. I sincerely believe that chartered accountants with their education and training are very well equipped to serve the society through these services.|
|Promoting WCOA 2022|
|To promote the World Congress of Accountants (WCOA) 2022, being hosted by the ICAI from 18th – 21st November 2022 at Jio World Centre, Mumbai, I had addressed about 5000 ICAI members and other stakeholders from the India Pavilion in Expo 2020 in Dubai. Expo 2020 was an apt opportunity to create awareness regarding the WCOA 2022, being hosted by the ICAI.|
|Meeting with Former Australian Prime Minister|
|I and Vice President CA. Aniket Sunil Talati had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Tony Abbott, Former Prime Minister of Australia and currently Australian Prime Minister’s special trade envoy. You will be pleased to know that Mr. Abbott had played vital a role in finalizing of Indo-Australian Free Trade agreement and he was appreciative of the fact that ICAI had MRAs with both the accountancy bodies in Australia and how Indian Chartered Accountancy professionals are contributing to the economy by having leadership or advisory positions in many Australian companies.|
|Meeting with Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA)|
|CA. Aniket Sunil Talati, Vice President, ICAI had visited Uganda to attend the meeting of Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA) wherein discussions were held with the leaders of accounting bodies in Africa for furthering ICAI’s initiatives. He also made a presentation to PAFA board on WCOA 2022 and requested the accounting bodies for maximum participation at the World Congress.|
|Meeting with CPA Australia|
|It is our persistent endeavour to expand the CA brand globally. Recently a virtual meeting was held with Mr. Andrew Hunter, Chief Executive Officer of CPA Australia to further strengthen the relationship by way of conducting Joint Studies and Publications on topics of mutual interest of both the Institutes, as well as work towards deriving best advantage from MRA for our respective membership. During the meeting discussions were held about collaborating to make 21st World Congress of Accountants a grand success.|
|Convocations at Delhi, Jaipur and Indore|
|To felicitate and welcome the newly qualified Chartered Accountants into the professional community, the long awaited ICAI Convocation 2021-22, which was postponed in January 2022 due to Covid-19, were held at Indore, Jaipur and New Delhi.|
The Convocation recognises the grit and determination of our rank holders and is a moment to cherish for all newly qualified Chartered Accountants. I am very happy to see the young brigade attending the Convocations in large numbers with much enthusiasm.
|Signing of MoU with Directorate of School Education, Kashmir|
|The Institute entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Directorate of School Education, Kashmir (DSEK), Government of Jammu & Kashmir for promoting Commerce Education amongst Government and Government aided Secondary and Higher / Senior Secondary school students. The prime objective of this MoU is to bring out the true potential of students belonging to Kashmir Valley.|
|With profound grief I would like to inform that our Past President (1976-77) CA. B.R. Maheswari expired on 2nd April, 2022. Our heartfelt condolences to his family and may the departed soul rest in peace.|
As we equip ourselves with innovations and new advancements, I assure you all that we will continue to work towards expanding our legacy as valued trustees of public interest. The activities of the Institute will continue to grow in significance in the changing and challenging scenario.
I would urge my colleagues to continue to remain committed to Excellence, Independence & Integrity.
With all good wishes,
|CA. (Dr.) Debashis Mitra|
Delhi, 26th April, 2022