Accountants fear loss of autonomy

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The government has proposed the inclusion of two CAs and three non-CAs in the disciplinary committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India



R. Suryamurthy

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New Delhi

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Posted on 12.31.21, 02:57 AM


Chartered accountants strongly opposed the government’s decision to introduce non-CAs into the discipline committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

The 2021 Chartered Accountants, Cost and Works Accountants, and Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill proposed the inclusion of two CAs and three non-CAs – often government candidates – in the ICAI Discipline Committee, a change from the current setup comprising two non-CA candidates and three ICAI members.

The reshuffle changes the power equation in favor of non-CAs on the committee that oversees complaints and investigations of member misconduct.

The proposal to have a non-CA as chairman of the disciplinary committee also irritated the fraternity as this is a position traditionally held by the chairman of the institute who has considerable influence over the decisions of the committee. The bill introduced in the winter session of Parliament has been referred to the standing committee.

Many chartered accountants believe that non-CAs will not have the in-depth accounting knowledge required to make fair judgments.

“The ICAI had only shared its reservation with the ministry on one of the points of the amendment bill of the AC, regarding the constitution of the disciplinary committee”, declared Nihar Jambusaria, president of the ‘ICAI.

Ved Jain, former president of ICAI, said that “non-CAs will not have the in-depth knowledge of accounting, which is essential for a fair judgment. Just because there is a wait in the justice system, the government cannot appoint non-judicial people to reduce the burden on the courts.

“If there are any outliers, the specific cases should be examined and action should be taken and not appoint a body to oversee the regulatory body,” he said.

ICAI Vice-President Debasish Mitra said that “we will present our case to the parliamentary panel so that a balanced view on the issue can be adopted”.

The bill proposed a time frame for resolving cases under investigation and allows the ICAI to take action not only against individuals, but also against businesses in the event of default.

The ICAI said it was not opposed to the delay, which would ensure a swift resolution of complaints.

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