My Dear Professional Colleagues,
Our nation has shown great resilience and willingness to overcome the ill effects of pandemic and move ahead towards the path of self-reliance. Our economy is not only able to sustain, but is also one of the few growth stories globally because of the will, determination and collective efforts of all the stakeholders. The robustness and inherent strength of Indian economy is further demonstrated by recent developments like highest ever collection of GST in April 2022 and milestone of having 100 Unicorn start-ups.
The Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) segment has a significant role to play in growth of rural economy and employment generation at grassroot level. The Indian accountancy profession is predominantly constituted of the Small and Medium practices (SMPs) too with large number of sole practitioners and partnership firms providing accounting, auditing and related consultancy services to the MSMEs. These SMPs can support MSMEs in various ways, including technology upgradation, skill development, suggesting internal controls, knowledge management, enhanced finance options, human resources management, improved interdepartmental coordination policies and programs. There is great potential for SMPs to provide a reliable support system for these businesses aiding in the maximisation of their potential and assimilated growth for both sides.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has always been at the forefront of building capacity and competency with requisite skills and knowledge of its members and stakeholders to spearhead the country’s economic growth. With a well planned strategy, the ICAI and its members are enabling businesses to maximise productivity with optimum utilisation of available resources.
With the changing times, our practitioners also need to broaden their horizon and perspective, by being more professionally updated and adopting technology. At ICAI, we are making every effort to empower them with various resources.
Let us look at some of the Institute’s activities:
As part of the country wide Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, an initiative of the Government of India to commemorate and celebrate 75 years of India’s Independence, its glorious history and progressive growth path, the ICAI has been actively participating and organising activities at pan-India level. These activities are in sync with the Government’s initiative of remembering and saluting the country’s Independence struggle, its freedom fighters and highlighting the emergence of a new and strong India.
ICAI is organising an ICONIC Day Programme on 8th June 2022, which will include a number of activities, to showcase the initiatives undertaken by the institute. Seminars shall be organised in hybrid mode highlighting our commitment towards Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Satat Bharat – Sanatan Bharat (Sustainable India), and Women Empowerment.
I am happy to inform you that we are working closely with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) on the implementation of MCA21 V3 for enabling a smooth transition. In terms of governance standards and keeping up with the need of the times, the V3 version is being significantly improved. It has a large business process change and hence its successful and smooth implementation is important. Further, the ICAI is increasing user awareness through train the trainer programs and direct interactions with regional and branch representatives.
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) regime has helped the country in overcoming several economic challenges and establishing India as a much sought-after destination for investors. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) from time to time issues various consultation papers and gather inputs from stakeholders. In this regard, we have recently submitted our suggestions to the IBBI on issues related to reducing delays in the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) to further improve the process. Further suggestions were also submitted on engagement and appointment of professionals in Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process, Review of Redressal and Enforcement Mechanism and Enhancing eff ectiveness of Information Utility.
As a socially responsible institution, financial literacy of masses is always a major focus area of ICAI and besides organising large number of Investor Awareness Programmes, we have launched Financial and Tax Literacy Drive – Vitiya Gyan ICAI ka Abhiyaan providing relevant information in 12 vernacular languages for the benefi t of all.
Further, ICAI is also acting as knowledge partner of IEPFA for its 75 tele-lecturing series on Investor Awareness being telecast on Gyan Darshan.
Recently, ICAI also organised a Workshop on Financial Market at Lucknow. The workshop was inaugurated by Hon’ble Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh. He commended the contribution of Chartered Accountants in steering the commercial ecosystem of the country in the right direction, describing them as the backbone of fi nancial management and auditing of the economy.
With a view to further enhancing audit quality and to provide necessary support mechanism to our practicing members, and also considering the rapidly evolving business environment, changing regulatory and reporting requirements and increased expectation of stakeholders the ICAI has constituted an Expert Panel through its Auditing and Assurance Standards Board to provide technical support on auditing aspects to the members conducting audit of various entities for the fi nancial year 2021-22. The Expert Panel will address queries till 30th September 2022.
In pursuance with our continuous pursuit for professional excellence and development, Orientation Programmes were organised by various Regional Councils of ICAI for the newly elected members of the Regional Councils and Managing Committee members of branches to apprise them about various processes and the relevant provisions of the Chartered Accountant’s Act,1949; Regulation framed thereunder and updated Directions of Councils and various other decisions of the Institute for eff ective functioning of their duties.
The programmes were conducted by WIRC on 10th and 11th March 2022 at Karjat, EIRC on 22nd and 23rd April 2022 at Kolkata, SIRC on 29th and 30th April 2022 at Hyderabad, CIRC on 24th and 25th April 2022 at Lucknow and NIRC on 27th and 28th April 2022 at Parwanoo, Himachal Pradesh. In total, more than 1100 representatives of diff erent Branches and Regional Councils of ICAI attended the Orientation Programmes at their respective location. The Programme provided an apt opportunity to all the newly elected representatives of Branches and Regional Councils to sync with the approach and vision of ICAI for achieving the goals set in the Action Plan. I am sure these orientation programmes were a great learning experience and will pave the path to excellence for the Institute.
I, along with ICAI Vice President CA. Aniket Sunil Talati had an interactive Meeting at ICAI, New Delhi with all Regional Council Chairmen namely CA. Atul Mehrotra, CIRC, CA. China Masthan Talakayala SIRC, CA. Ravi Kumar Patwa, EIRC, CA. Murtuza Kachwala, WIRC (virtual) and CA. Naveen Garg, NIRC, to discuss various developments and initiatives to be taken towards further development of the profession. The meeting set the tone for building a common vision and goals for team ICAI and provided a forum to further augment the Regional Councils. The Regional Councils Chairmen were requested to play a more constructive role in the development of the profession; especially delivering quality services to the Members and Students.
A webinar on Professional Opportunities for ICAI Members in Ireland was organised in association with CPA Ireland to create awareness amongst ICAI members on the various professional opportunities in Ireland under the MRA signed between ICAI and CPA Ireland. The event was graced by H.E. Mr. Akhilesh Mishra and CA. Aniket Sunil Talati, Vice President, ICAI. From CPA Ireland, Mr. Eamonn Siggins, Chief Executive, Ms. Caroline Moloney, Business Development Executive and Ms. Kellsie Larkin, Business Development Manager, Visa First were present.
On the 23rd of May Vice President, ICAI, CA. Aniket Sunil Talati alongwith Central Council Members CA. Kemisha Soni, CA. Prasanna Kumar D, CA. Rajendra Kumar P. and CA. Umesh Ramnarayan Sharma met the Hon’ble Finance Minister of India Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman. Among the issues discussed were the World Congress of Accountants and matters relating to the profession.
With profound grief, I would like to inform that our Past President, CA. B. L. Kabra (1977-78) who had also served as Vice-President, IFAC from India during 1977 to 1980, expired on 16th May 2022. Our heartfelt condolences to his family and may the departed soul rest in peace.
Our profession is driven by the pursuit of knowledge and with persistence we have established a legacy of excellence and integrity, which we must always uphold.
With increased automation in the industry and digitisation of every aspect of our lives, there is an increased requirement for diligent vigilance as regulators of the profession thereby strengthening public trust and fulfi lling our role as trustees of public interest.
I also urge all of you to work towards building a sustainable environment, contributing and implementing sustainable habits & encouraging awareness for the protection of our natural environment. I would like to conclude with the words of our Former President of India, Dr. A.P. J Abdul Kalam “Learning gives creativity, Creativity leads to thinking, Th inking provides knowledge, Knowledge makes you great.”
CA. (Dr.) Debashis Mitra
Kolkata, 26th May, 2022