The conclave largely attended by distinguished CAs of Nagpur, and past Presidents from Mumbai and Delhi was inaugurated by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari at Hotel Radisson Blu today. Nagpur Guardian Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule also attended.
” As more investments will begin pouring in, as a result of our efforts, it is you CAs who will have to manage and guide industrialists and businessmen. You have an important role to play in nation building” said Gadkari while speaking on the occasion.
CA Mohan Fadnis, current President of ICAI was supposed to ‘host’ the function – but since he could not attend, CA Uttam Prakash Agarwal, past president, and practising in Mumbai, did the honours.
Speaking on the sidelines of the conclave exclusively to Nagpur Today CA Agarwal, said that some current trends like new and tedious rules for Small and Medium Business’ was hampering business growth. They were included in the Companies Act of 2013 brought in by the UPA, but this government has not brought in the desired amendments either. Instead of Ease of Doing Business, it was becoming more difficult in fact.
One of the new rules brought in this Act was restricting Shareholders’ loans and compliance to the Act being made more stringent.
He also said that the move to introduce NFRA – National Financial Reporting Authority- was worrisome and could give rise to new avenues of corruption if changes were not incorporated.
“We are already self governed well with 8 very senior Government executives being part of our 40 member body, what was the need to bring in a new ‘authority’ to keep a watch over us?” Agarwal asked.
The new President of ICAI, CA Manoj Fadnis had also mentioned this in his Presidential address while taking over in June 2015.
He had said ” that the Council has been continuously persuading that the new provisions of NFRA need reconsideration. Representations have been made to the Honourable Chairman and Members of the Standing Committee on Finance regarding this. In its 13th report the committee has said that NFRA would function as an oversight body without any jurisdictional and conflict or overlap.”
A general worry and concern was observed among many CAs regarding NFRA at the conclave today.
The only voice who seemed to favour it was another past President of ICAI Amarjit Chopra of Delhi.
CA Chopra has trained in practise of Chartered Accountancy from both UK and Australia and has a broader world view perhaps.
He said in his opinion NFRA could be used by CAs for better control and administration.
According to Amarjit, the most pressing need of the moment was to upgrade CA curriculum. The industry will not grow unless the course matter is improved. 90% of our certified professionals go to work for industries, he said. While what they study is lopsided. Their communication skills need to be improved vastly.
In CA Chopra estimate the new GST would also not simplify taxation rules in the country.
“A surgical operation is needed to simplify taxation in this country” he opined.
He also rued the fact that the industry is not growing yet as it should under the new Government.
“The mood is still not upbeat”. He blamed it on two factors – the alarming proportion of non performing assets of lending Banks, which had come about since funds were blatantly diverted into Real Estate and even stashed away abroad.
“Now unless the real estate business looks up, others will not progress. And this business is down because rates are too high for genuine buyers and too low for Speculators. This conundrum has to break”.
CA Prafulla Chajed who is a Member Central Council ( 2013 – 2016) and has been Chairman and Vice Chairman of various distinguished bodies of ICAI saw the picture as being rosier.
“We have four clean and efficient Ministers in key industries: Piyush Goel in Energy, Prabhu in Railways, Gadkari in Transport and infrastructure and Parrikar in Defense apart from Arun Jaitley and Modiji himself, so it is only this government that can deliver on its promise of growth and development. If not this one, I have no hopes from anyone else” he stated categorically.
“Give it time. They are going in the right direction. Progress is not easy to achieve like ‘instant coffee'” he opined.
One aspect of the government every voiced concern about, without wanting to be quoted directly on it, is the fact that none of the Ministers are easily accessible to industry or others.
“Either they are genuinely busy, and do not have time, or this is a new policy decision, but it should be loosened” they opined.
The Chairperson of the Conclave is Nagpur’s own CA Kirti Agarwal. An effusive and warm personality, she believes in the power of networking and increased person to person interactions.
“Without communication there is no personal or professional growth of an individual” she feels. The conclave was well managed under her stewardship.
by Sunita Mudaliar