The Corporate Affairs Minister, Mr Salman Khurshid, has called for higher representation of women in the chartered accountancy profession, similar to the 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament. “If there can be 33 per cent representation for women in Parliament, then why not something like that in the chartered accountancy profession too?,” Mr Khurshid said at the Chartered Accountants’ Day celebrations organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) held here.
Noting that there were not many women in the audience at Vigyan Bhavan, the Minister told a packed house that, “when in comes to the household budget, there is no one better than the lady of the house who holds the key to all finances. They are very good at budgeting. So, why not more women in the CA profession too? I would like the ICAI to ensure more representation of women in the CA profession.”
Of the 1.61 lakh CAs in the country, women account for only 15-20 per cent, ICAI sources said.
Mr Khurshid went to the extent of saying that he would like to see a woman at the helm of the Corporate Affairs Ministry.
Meanwhile, Mr K Rehman Khan, Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, who himself is a CA, said on the occasion that CAs should help in bringing greater transparency to the Government’s accounts.
He said the Government must soon switch from single-entry accounting system to double-entry accounting, adding that even the Comptroller and Auditor General of India is keen on the same.
He said this was important because the Government was spending over Rs 1.6 lakh crore in its flagship programmes, but it is not clear how much of it is reaching the intended beneficiaries. Mr Khan also expressed concern over the cost over-runs in several Railway projects, including the Konkan Railway, as well as the lack of transparency in Government programmes like the MGNREGA.
Mr R Bandyopadhyay, Secretary, Corporate Affairs Ministry, said one of the biggest challenges facing the CA profession today is to help in building an Indian multinational CA firm.
The ICAI President, Mr Amarjit Chopra, said Indian CAs will soon be able to offer their professional services in Ireland as both the countries will soon sign an agreement in this regard. Also on the cards are similar arrangements with countries such as New Zealand, Canada and UAE.