icai: ICAI Raises Concerns About CA Act Amendment Bill to Parliamentary Panel

ICAI, the umbrella body of chartered accountants, has submitted a memorandum to a parliamentary panel, raising concerns about certain provisions of the bill to amend the law governing chartered accountants in the country.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has submitted its views on the provisions, including that relating to the establishment of a Disciplinary Committee, to the member of the BJP, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance led by Jayant Sinha, who reviews the bill.

On December 21, the Lok Sabha returned the Chartered Accountants, Cost and Works Accountants and Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill 2021 to the panel for consideration. The bill seeks to amend the laws governing accountants, cost accountants and company secretaries.

“We have already submitted our memorandum to the parliamentary standing finance committee. They are going to hear us on February 3,” ICAI President Nihar N Jambusaria told PTI on Thursday.

He said there were three major issues, including the Disciplinary Committee and the approval of names of CA firms registered with the ICAI. Another issue concerns the proposed coordination committee between the orders of chartered accountants, chartered accountants and company secretaries.

Under current law, the Disciplinary Committee has two government nominees and three ICAI board members. The bill proposes to include two CAs (chartered accountants) and three non-CAs. Furthermore, it was proposed that the Discipline Committee be headed by a non-CA.

“We are asking that the current status be maintained and they are proposing that even the chairman should be non-CA…we are saying that if a non-CA becomes chairman, the person will not understand the essence of accounting standards , auditing standards, ethical standards and it would be difficult for him to pass judgment in all cases,” Jambusaria said.

Currently, the President or Vice President of ICAI is the Chair of the Disciplinary Committee.

“There are two government nominees and right now we take decisions unanimously… if they want three non-CAs, then at least the president should be a CA,” he said. He underlines.

Among other provisions, the bill proposes that CA firms may be subject to the disciplinary mechanism and the ICAI sees no objection to this.

However, Jambusaria said it was also proposed that ICAI approve the name of a firm, which is not similar to an existing CA firm in India or abroad.

“We are asking for an amendment because no one has a database of CA firms in foreign countries. It would not be possible for the ICAI to know whether the name proposed by a new firm is similar to the name of a existing cabinet in another country, other than India,” he pointed out.

Regarding the proposal to create the coordination committee between the institutes, the ICAI President stated that the mandate of the committee should be limited to coordination only. “They have covered other areas and we ask them to drop (them) because, after all, the three institutes are autonomous bodies…”, he added.

Finance and Commercial Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had introduced the Chartered Accountants, Cost and Works Accountants and Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill 2021 in Lok Sabha on December 17.

Later, the bill was referred to the parliamentary panel, which is expected to submit its report during the budget session. The first part of the session will start on January 31 and end on February 11, while the second part will start on March 14 and end on April 8.

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