The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance on Wednesday suggested setting up of accounting institutes akin to IITs and IIMs for further development of the accounting and finance profession in the country.
Noting that a single institute has statutory monopoly power over qualification and licensing of accounting professionals in the country, the parliamentary panel observed that multiple bodies, on the lines of advanced countries, are needed to promote healthy competition and improve the credibility of financial reporting.
Presenting its report on ‘The Chartered Accountants, the Cost and Works Accountants and the Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill, 2021’, the panel said the proposed provision that the disciplinary committees should not be headed by the members of the three institutes, does not significantly take away the professional autonomy of the institutes.
The corporate affairs ministry had introduced the Bill in Parliament in December whereby changes have been proposed to existing legislations governing the apex institutes of chartered accountants, cost accountants and company secretaries.
The Bill has proposed to have a non-chartered accountant, non-cost accountant and non-company secretary as the presiding officer of the disciplinary committees of the respective apex institutes. Besides, the government has proposed that each committee should have three nominated members who are not a part of the particular institute concerned.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) had raised concerns about the proposal, while the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI) told the panel that it had no reservations about the manner of constituting the disciplinary committee.
The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) was of the view that parameters for selecting the presiding officer and members of disciplinary committees and such restrictions should be specified through rules rather than through regulations.
According to the panel, terms of the constitution of the proposed coordination committee among the three institutes may be reviewed to the extent that it may be chaired by an eminent person from industry, finance or business who is not a member of any of the three institutes in question.
The Bill has proposed that the secretary of the ministry of corporate affairs would chair the coordination committee.