My Dear Professional Colleagues,

India amidst the ongoing pandemic is audaciously moving forward by taking all possible measures to combat this lethal virus. The global pandemic has tuned into world’s blistering hotspot of pandemic with virulent whirlwind crippling the life. The second wave is very different from the first wave with exponential spread of disease and painful loss of several lives. After one full year from the time when stringent lockdown was first put in place, various States are again imposing restrictions, curbs and curfews to restrict interaction as a measure to stop spread of the disease. Disruption of work, academic pursuits and loss of employment/professional opportunities are a few concerns which many people in economy are facing. Fortunately, various measures undertaken by government till now are bringing positive results and in the past few days there is a gradual reduction in number of daily Corona positive cases.

“All of us no doubt work to keep our body and soul together along with those who are dependent on us. But we cannot be oblivious of the environment in which we work or ignore the calls of the society which provides us succour” – said CA. S.K. Gupta, former President of ICAI. In these turbulent time of pandemic various organs of the ICAI structure, its members and students are extending their all possible support to the society and assisting in arranging medical and other exigencies that are otherwise difficult to avail on account of sheer numbers. Society stands on the pillars of humanity and nobility; the humankind has advanced so far because of its ability to share the unanimous gains and losses to move forward together. After all, compassion is not just looking beyond one’s own pain and empathising with that of others but also acting upon the urge to help and relieve it. All Branches and Regional Councils have been advised to form Covid -19 Task Forces for supporting people in need with arranging oxygen, hospital beds, food, testing, medicines etc. Good response has been received for the same and branches have also come forward to provide the required facilities to the members, students, and their families.

CA. Nihar Jambusaria

We are sure that India will also be able to withstand the economic fallout of the pandemic. Indian Economy is one the most resilient, adaptable, and robust economies, across the length and breadth of the globe; with its indomitable spirit, fierce will and firm economic foundation, it has not only emerged as the fastest growing emerging nations but also paved its way to the fast recovery.

The Indian capital market is an additional structure which has over the last few decades risen to paramount importance in terms of determining the economic stability within the country by propelling the household savings towards efficient investments and supplementing the role of the banks as the growth catalyst of the country; thereby stimulating economic growth. This issue of ICAI Journal is focussed on Indian Capital Markets. The keen-eyed supervision of the country’s capital market along with the development of a balanced framework and the proper scrutiny of actions by the Securities and Exchange Board of India and the Reserve Bank of India, helps in accelerating the development of investors’ confidence in India thus promoting investments and actuating development.

Associate Membership of ASEAN

Federation of Accountants The ICAI had earlier decided to take the associate membership of ASEAN Federation of Accountants (AFA) to expand its global outreach and get foothold in ASEAN Region. Accordingly, ICAI has now admitted as the Associate Member of AFA with immediate effect. Membership of AFA would enable ICAI to connect closely with the professional organisations based in ASEAN region in order to promote those initiatives of ICAI which are of global relevance in these jurisdictions. Wish to apprise that the AFA was established in March, 1977, to serve as the umbrella organisation for the national accountancy bodies in the countries which are part of the Association of South East Asian Nation (ASEAN).

Global Bilateral Cooperation

In another significant development, Union Cabinet has recently approved the bilateral cooperation agreement with Qatar Financial Center Authority, Qatar at its meeting held on May 12, 2021. The MoU would help in development of accountancy profession in Qatar and would also provide enhanced opportunities to the members of the ICAI in providing professional services in Qatar.

Members may also note that the efforts are also being made to have MoU with Poland Chamber of Statutory Auditors (PIBR) in the areas of mutual co-operation and collaboration between both the organizations.

ICAI continues to expand its footprints globally

The 41st Chapter of the Institute was inaugurated virtually on May 22, 2021 in the presence of Shri Aseem R. Mahajan, IFS, Hon’ble Consul General of India, Houston, USA; CA. Mahaveer Singhvi, Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India; and other eminent guest speakers. Further, the launch of two new Representative Offices in Helsinki (Finland) and Munich (Germany) was also held at a virtual event on May 7, 2021 with the theme ‘Role of Chartered Accountants in Enhancing India-EU Relations’ during the sidelines of India-European Union Leader’s Summit which was held on 8th May 2021.

It is an exciting opportunity for the members to unite and work with their alma-mater for enhancing the brand value of Indian Chartered Accountants across the globe. I feel extremely proud to mention that with the above launches, ICAI has increased its global presence to 45 countries of the world covering 68 global cities with 41 Chapters and 27 Representative Offices.

Virtual Meetings with ICAI Chapters and Representative Offices

Myself and Vice-President ICAI recently had series of interactive virtual meetings with ICAI Chapters and Representative Offices abroad with an objective to discuss and brainstorm on current state of critical matters and how Chapters & Representative Offices can effectively contribute in the action plan of the ICAI. It was observed that during these testing times, overseas chapters have been doing appreciable work in association with Indian Embassies and Consulates for providing relief material to India.

Audit Quality Maturity Model (AQMM) Version 1.0

The Audit Quality Maturity Model (AQMM) is a capacity building measure initiated by ICAI through its Centre for Audit Quality. The objective of this Evaluation Matrix is for Sole proprietors and Audit firms to be able to self-evaluate their current level of Audit Maturity, identify areas where competencies are good /lacking and then develop a roadmap for upgrading to a higher level of maturity. In this regard, a recommendatory Audit Quality Maturity Model (AQMM) has been issued as an exposure draft to the public for comments. This will help to improve the audit quality of firms and audit companies with substantial stakeholders.

Revised norms of SCAs released by RBI

As you may be aware, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released the revised guidelines for appointment of Statutory Central Auditors (SCAs) of PSBs, Commercial Banks, NBFCs, UCBs, HFCs on 27th April, 2021. Based on internal discussions, ICAI made a detailed representation wherein RBI was requested among others to prescribe minimum number of SCAs, introduction of Transitional Provisions, introduction of 3 years of cooling period for auditors of PSBs, and appointment of statutory auditors of banks by RBI etc.

53rd edition of campus placement programme

ICAI takes all efforts to facilitate career opportunities for the aspiring newly qualified members. The 53rd edition of campus placement events covered the candidates who had passed final examination which were held in January- February, 2021. The interviews at 9 major centres were held from 3rd to 12th May, 2021. So far 893 job offers have been made by the participating companies at Bigger Centres. Highest annual salary offered for a domestic posting is Rs.15.04 lacs p.a by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. The interviews shall continue from 1st to 8th June, 2021 at 12 smaller centres.

Appeal to contribute to CABF

Our profession is not immune to the pandemic disruptions, many members and students have lost their life or their loved ones.

The foundation of a functional community is built upon mutual benevolence and social understanding. From September 2020 onwards, a Scheme of financial assistance for treatment of Covid-19 was introduced by ICAI and since then a sum of Rs. 2.72 crores have been processed/released to a total of 218 members towards treatment of the disease. It may also be mentioned that considering the large number of requests being received related to Covid-19 cases, it has also been decided by the CABF to relax certain aspects of procedure for grant of Medical Financial Assistance so that a greater number of our members affected due to pandemic could be accommodated.

These are very small efforts when compared with the magnitude of the requirement. I request members to generously make voluntary contribution (https://cabf.icai.org/voluntaryMember) to the Chartered Accountants Benevolent Fund to enable us to extend maximum medical grant to the suffering Members and their dependents. Your valuable contribution can provide much needed help in time of financial stress.

Concluding Remarks

Honesty breeds trust and lays the foundation of transparency as the actions of an honest person are in sync with his beliefs and principles. People with integrity inspire others around them and have the confidence to lead others. Simply put, honesty and integrity are the most precious pearls in this universe and are the cornerstones of success of any profession. Conviction in ethics and principles coupled with fairness in dealings by professionals will not only garner respect but will also lead to success of individual members as well as of the whole profession. Moral values provide an individual with an ability to evaluate right versus wrong and at the same time maintain social order to regulate work. Aberration from these values fosters chaos, anarchy, and nurtures vices. Built on the strong bedrock of virtuous independence, integrity and excellence, the Institute, stands tall on its pillars of ethics and moral values. The Institute upholds righteousness and truth and propagates the unwavering ideals of morality and ethics. The ICAI through the echoes of time, perseveringly works at ensuring that its every day functioning is guided by these morals, persistently aspires to do so and exhorts its members to imbibe them in letter and spirit.

Stay safe, stay healthy. Best wishes.

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