“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle
In one of the International economic forum held recently at Singapore, it was opined by some experts that Indian Economy may still be trailing China’s now but it can catch up if the country opens up its financial sector more. They said the problem could be due to the lack of foreign capital inflows. Experts explained this is because a few large businesses and conglomerates control a large part of the Indian economy and are unwilling to partner with foreign companies. India has the technology, the entrepreneurship and the brands. These are the potential assets that experts believe can lead to strong GDP growth in India.
I am sure Cost Accountants have a major role to play in this transformation where India takes over China. Therefore, the Cost Accountants have to not only equip themselves with the latest knowledge in their respective fields of expertise but also unlearn old jargons to imbibe new ideas to make Indian Economy, a leader in the World. I feel Cost Accountants have played the supportive role in the past, which needs to be changed by asserting themselves by becoming “Knowledge Leaders” to spearhead the transformation. The various new beginnings like the Companies Bill, GST, DTC and IFRSs will be the key to this decisive road map and Cost Accountants must take steps to master them.
I attended the meeting of IEPF committee of Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India held under the Chairmanship of Mr. D K Mittal, IAS, Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Corporate Affairs on 3rd March, 2011 at New Delhi. The requirements of the next year 2011-12 for the Investor Awareness Programmes were discussed.
We met Shri Shriprakashji Jaiswal, Minister of Coal, Government of India on 23rd March, 2011 and apprised him of the developments in the profession and contribution of Cost Accountants to the Coal Industry in India.
We called on Shri Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission of India on 11th March, 2011 at New Delhi and discussed the matters related to positioning of the Institute in the realm of emerging role of the apex planning body in the country.
Memorandum of Understanding with National Institute of Accountants, Australia
Friends, I am happy to share with you that, ICWAI has signed a MoU with National Institute of Accountants, Australia on 9th March, 2011 at Melbourne, Australia. Ms. Christine Leetham, President, NIA-Australia; Mr. Rakesh V. Kawra, Vice Consul (SCWO), Consulate General of India, Australia and Prof Andrew James Conway, Chief Executive Officer, NIA, Australia were among the dignitaries who graced the occasion of signing of MoU between ICWAI and NIA, Australia.
The MoU will develop the profession for the benefit of members and students in the pursuit of excellence in education and training and continuing professional development in accounting including cost and management accountancy. The MoU recognizes the professional qualifications and professional development programs offered by each Institute. It will permit members who obtain membership through this alliance to practice subject to applicable Local Laws; enable members to assist and cooperate in conducting applied research on management accounting and related areas through an appropriate mechanism with focus on contemporary domains; Invite, support, attend and conduct seminars, conferences and joint activities mutually beneficial to both the parties with a focus on contemporary areas such as IFRS, Business Valuations, etc. The MoU will allow the members and students of each Institute to visit, use and consult the libraries of the respective Institutes and access/linkage to the websites of each Institute from their own websites; share developments in the areas of common interest at the international level including interaction with UN and other Regional/International/ Multinational Bodies and Institutes; enable both the institutes to engage in any other activity acceptable to the governing council/board of the two Institutes.
In view of this, I request the members to take benefit of this MoUs and others for furtherance of the cause of the profession internationally.The details of all MoUs are hosted on website for ready reference and use by members and students.
Regional Councils and Chapters
Regional Cost Convention of EIRC at Ranchi
I participated in the Regional Cost Convention of EIRC held at Ranchi on 25th -26th March, 2011 where the theme was “Emerging Economic Developments”. The city of Ranchi has been host to this annual important event for the first time. Mr. R S Poddar, IAS, Principal Secretary to the Government of Jharkhand, Department of Water Resources was the Chief Guest at the inaugural session of the Convention. During his address to the Invitees, Mr. Poddar praised the scope and role of Cost Accountants in the conservation of Water. This two day event witnessed focused discussion on the topics of professional interest for Cost Accountants like IFRSs, Direct Tax Code, Goods and Service Tax, Companies Bill, Internal Audit, Valuations and Risk Management among others. The Convention was attended by a large number of participants and I congratulate the organizers and the team for their efforts.
Regional Cost and Management Conference 2011 at Lucknow
I witnessed the successful organization of the two day Regional Cost and Management Conference organized by lucknow Chapter of NIRC on 28th & 29th March, 2011 at Lucknow on the theme “Reinforcing Cost and Management Accountants – Value Creation Beyond Numbers”. Dr. Dinesh Sharma, Hon’ble Mayor of Lucknow was the Chief Guest at the Inaugural Session. This was a well attended seminar and I wish to place on record my appreciation to the team of organizers for successful organization. It is matter of pride for Institute that Lucknow Chapter of Cost Accountants has become first ISO 9001-2008 certified Chapter of ICWAI with effect from 16th March 2011. Being an initiative on quality, ISO certification is a welcome measure worthy of emulation by other chapters of ICWAI.
Opening of New Chapter at Hazaribagh, Jharkhand
Shri Yashwant Sinha, Hon’ble Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance inaugurated our new Chapter at Hazaribag, Jharkhand on 29th March, 2011. It was privilege to attend the function along with Shri Kunal Banerjee, Past President and Shri A. D. Wadhwa, Chairman of EIRC. It is expected to address the issues related to students and members in the region.
Pimpri-Chinchawad-Akurdi Chapter of ICWAI,Maharashtra
On receipt of a proposal from our members in the Pimpri-Chinchwad-Akurdi area, the largest industrial belt in Maharashtra, the Council approved constitution of a Chapter for the benefit of the members and students in the region at its meeting held on February 25, 2011. The decision was subject to verdict of the Hon’ble High Court at Mumbai in view of an unfortunate Writ Petition filed by the Pune Chapter of ICWAI in the Hon’ble High Court at Mumbai against the Union of India and the ICWAI challenging the proposed constitution of the Chapter as well as the authority of the Council. In the course of hearing the Hon’ble Court observed that the said Writ Petition is misconceived and the Writ Petition has been dismissed.
Finance and Administration Directorate
On February 25, 2011, a MoU has been signed by ICWAI with Punjab National Bank for Co-Branded Credit Card (ICWAI – PNB) for the Members of the Institute at Kolkata Office of ICWAI. The members are requested to take the benefit of the co-branded card of PNB.
The Council has approved the release of Cost Accounting Standard -13 (CAS-13) on Cost of Service Cost Center. This Standard shall be mandatory with effect from 1st April 2011 for being applied for the preparation and certification of General Purpose Cost Accounting Statements. The Standard has been hosted on the website of the Institute and is being published in the Journal of the Institute.
Professional Development Directorate
Introduction of e-learning Course on IFRS
ICWAI has been actively engaged in the professional development of its Members through various initiatives. Towards this, ICWAI and M/s C&K Management Ltd signed an MOU on 17th March, 2011 to equip the Members and students of the Institute and others with the essential knowledge in International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) through e-learning modules. This course is a separate venture from the regular course launched recently by the Institute through its CEP Directorate.
For e-learning, an e-portal will be started with effect from 1st April, 2011 enabling members and students to acquire knowledge about IFRSs at their pace and time. The interested learners will be equipped with both theoretical and practical knowledge/application about the intricacies of the various International Financial Reporting Standards. On successful completion of this course, the learner will acquire a basic understanding of the various IFRSs. The detail about the course is provided at the website of Institute.
Signing of MOU with Department of Posts
Management Accounting Research Foundation of ICWAI (ICWAI-MARF) has been appointed as an advisor to the Department of Post, Ministry of Communications and IT (DOP) and a MOU has been signed to that effect for developing and implementing the project on “Modernized Costing System” to develop advanced costing methodology based on Marginal Costing and Activity Based Costing (ABC) techniques for the products and services offered by Department of Post. I am of the view that this venture will go a long way in positioning the profession in a higher pedestal as the Project is of National Importance.
Renewal of MOU under CFC-ACES Scheme of CBEC
ICWAI entered into an MOU on 13th April 2010 for a period of one year with Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) towards Automation of Central Excise and Service Tax (ACES) project for setting up of Certified Facilitation Centers (CFCs) by Cost Accountants in Practice at various locations throughout the country to facilitate transactions like e-filing of returns and other documents by assesses of Central Excise and Service Tax. The salient features of Scheme are available in the website of the Institute. CBEC has approached ICWAI again for extension of Scheme for two more years. ICWAI is renewing MOU in this regard. I request the members in practice to participate in this project in large number.
Training and Placement Directorate
Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India has requested Institute to depute Inter passed students to various Registrar of Companies/ Official Liquidators and field offices of MCA across the country. Recruitment of Inter qualified students has already been completed at Delhi and Kolkata. Similar exercise is being organized in Mumbai and Chennai during first week of April. I am sure our Intermediate passed students will benefit and gain valuable experience through this assignment.
As you are aware Institute has been continuously making efforts to diversify Campus Placements. I feel pleasure in informing that Campus Placement is being organized in Raipur, Vijayawada, Madurai, Guwahati and Jalandhar during first and second weeks of April 2011. Companies like STC India Limited, Coal India Limited, Allahabad Bank, Vedanta, Nestle India Limited have already visited our campus for placement. Many Companies have planned to visit our Campuses across the Country in the two months of March and April, 2011.
It gives me immense pleasure to inform you, CEP Directorate organized the first batch of Certificate Course on International Financial Reporting Standards during 23-27 March, 2011 at Ooty exclusively for the Indian Railway Accounts Service Officers, Ministry of Railways, Railway Board, Government of India. The Directorate has also published the programme of forthcoming courses on IFRS for the members.
Initiatives on Information Technology
ICWAI has been extending the benefits of Information Technology to its students and members. To help the students, on-line submission of Examination forms for all the courses has been put in place. Website of ICWAI may be accessed by the students who wish to fill up their examination forms.
I wish all of you for the festivals of Navaratri, New year of many faiths/regions, Ram Navmi, Birth Day of Bharat Ratna Dr. B R Ambedkar, Gudi Padwa (Nav Varsh Pratipada) Easter Sunday and others,