Institute of Chartered Accountants of India
Dear Professional Colleagues,
As you are aware that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is on-going and the number of cases globally continue to rise. There has been spurt in COVID-19 instances in India about which lot of information is already being disseminated through various governmental forums including Ministry of Health. There have been advisories in general to avoid gathering at public places to mitigate the risk of spread of such viral disease which could affect the gathering at large. The World Health Organisation (WHO) due to on-going rise of Covid-19 worldwide, has declared it as a pandemic. Situations like this which is emergent, call for remedial actions and stage of preparedness so as to bounce with rigour and vigour. I would urge my professional brethren to stand together with ICAI and governmental initiatives in impeding the spread of this pandemic through social distancing.
In view of these extraordinary emergent circumstances, various measures are taken by the Central and State Government to contain any further spread of this highly communicable infection. Taking cognizance of the severity of this situation, Hon’ble Prime Minister on 19 March, 2020 had appealed to the nation to observe `Janta Curfew’ on 22 March, 2020 which is a highly appreciable step. Your attention is also drawn to the announcement by Ministry of Corporate Affairs advising various steps to contain the spread and minimize the risk to all of us in public good.
In order to avoid any possible health hazard and consequential issues, as a proactive measure at the institutional level, the Council in its meeting held on 12 March, 2020 decided to cancel all the programs/events/classes that require the physical gatherings of the members and students up to 15 April, 2020. Institute has launched the Digital Learning Hub for its members and students in order to provide state-of-the-art online training courses created by experts which can be accessed anywhere, anytime. This Digital Learning Hub comprises E-books, Video Lectures and other material covering all the domains through which members can update themselves and fulfil the requirement of structured as well as unstructured CPE hours. In the recently concluded council meeting, we have also resolved that through this Digital Learning Hub, members can obtain even 10 structured CPE hours up to June 2020. Needless to add that there is no cost associated to access the Digital Learning Hub.
The Institute has also received communication from DoPT, Government of India regarding preventive measures to be taken to contain the spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Accordingly, ICAI has issued directions that its employees shall be working from home till 31 March, 2020. As most of the services related to members and students are now made available online, however, in case need arises you may reach out to concerned office / officers at the following link (click here).
In view of the prevailing circumstances, the Institute had also represented to Ministry of Finance, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and other regulators to consider extending the deadlines for various statutory/regulatory compliances to avoid hardships being faced by membership due to this global pandemic. Further development in this regard will be apprised to membership. Accordingly, we earnestly request you to explore the possibility to promote work from home not only for yourself but also for other colleagues and students pursuing practical training to ensure safety for everyone.
It is my humble appeal, to kindly follow the advisories/circulars/notifications issued by government and local authorities to prevent any spread of this virus for due precaution and societal wellbeing of all; in these special circumstances it is our moral and national duty to support the government in all its initiatives at the institutional as well as individual level in the interest of the mankind.
(CA. Atul Kumar Gupta)