ICAI given the proposal of for Nomination of Chartered Accountants u/s 14A and 14AA of the Central Excise Act, 1944 for special audit. Copy of letter written by ICAI President CA. UTTAM PRAKASH AGARWAL to The Chairman, Central Board of Excise & Customs is as follows:-
No.1-CA(Rep Com) /2009, Dated: 2nd June, 2009
The Chairman, Central Board of Excise & Customs, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, North Block, New Delhi – 110 001.
Sub.: Proposal for Nomination of Chartered Accountants u/s 14A and 14AA of the Central Excise Act, 1944 for special audit
Sections 14A and 14AA of the Central Excise Act, 1944 provide for special audit, under certain circumstances, to be done only a Cost Accountant, and not by a Chartered Accountant.
In this connection, it may be mentioned that a Chartered accountant is a professional who is regulated by the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 and has been given the onerous responsibility to attest the fairness, correctness of financial statements as also certify the tax compliance under Income Tax Act, 1961. The syllabus of the final examination has a paper on indirect taxation which tests the in-depth knowledge of the person in this subject. Every Chartered Accountant goes through rigorous 3-years article ship training, which is unparallel in India for any other professional course. A Chartered Accountant possesses complete knowledge of indirect taxation, skill of doing audit and the experience of audit and taxation. There are many Chartered Accountants who have been authoring books on central excise for decades and some of them have been part of important Committees including the Kelkar Committee. Further, there are insignificant number of practicing Cost Accountants available, particularly in smaller cities/town, in comparison to the vast and geographical spread of Chartered Accountants in practice, whose number is ever increasing. The Chartered Accountants are not only highly skilled and fully equipped to handle special audits, but are also easily available.
Therefore, in our view, there is no reason as to why Chartered Accountants should not be included among those who are eligible to perform special audit under Sections 14A and 14AA.
Hence, we suggest that the provisions contained in Sections 14A and 14AA may be suitably amended as under to permit the nomination of Chartered Accountants also for the purpose of special audit:
Draft Notification to be issued:
Notification New Delhi …………../2009GSR (E) In exercise of the powers conferred under the provisions of the Central Excise Act 1944 (1 of 1944), the Central Government on being satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest so to do, hereby makes the following amendments in the following Section 14A and 14AA of the Central Excise Act:
In the said provision, wherever the term Cost Accountant appears, the said word should be read as Cost Accountant or Chartered Accountant.
Explanation: For the purpose of this section, “Chartered Accountant” shall have the meaning assigned to it in clause (b) of sub-section (1) of Section 2 of the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 (38 of 1949).
We are sure the above amendment will greatly benefit the Department in finalizing the assessments.
CA. UTTAM PRAKASH AGARWAL