CA, CWA and CS (Amendment) Bill, 2021 referred to Standing Committee

Government has introduced the Chartered Accountants, the Cost And Works Accountants and the Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill, 2021  (i.e. CA, CWA and CS (Amendment) Bill, 2021) in the Lok Sabha on 17/12/2021.

This Bill proposes to make various amendments in the 3 Statutes governing these professions, i.e. the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949, the Cost and Works Accountants Act, 1959 and the Company Secretaries Act,1980, regulating the professions of the chartered accountants, cost accountants and company secretaries, respectively.

With the growing scale of economy and number/ size of financial transactions and commensurate changes in the Indian economic and corporate environment over the last few decades, certain regulatory and professional lapses have surfaced time and again, which have put the regulators and professionals under a considerable scrutiny, specially the profession of chartered accountancy.

Amendments proposed in these Acts are based on the recommendations of a High Level Committee constituted by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. The committee has examined the existing provisions in the respective Acts and the rules and regulations made thereunder, for dealing with the cases of misconduct in the three Professional Institutes, (Institute of Chartered Accountants/ Cost Accountants/ Company Secretaries of India). Accordingly, the Committee has submitted reports/ suggestions to strengthen the existing mechanism and ensure speedy disposal of the disciplinary cases at these Institutes.

The CA, CWA and CS (Amendment) Bill, 2021 proposes to:

i) strengthen the disciplinary mechanism by augmenting the capacity of the Disciplinary Directorate to deal with the complaints and information and providing time bound disposal of the cases by specifying the time limits for speedy disposal of the cases against members of the Institutes;

(ii) address conflict of interest between the administrative and disciplinary arms of the Institute;

(iii) provide for a separate chapter on registration of firms with the respective Institutes and include firms under the purview of the disciplinary mechanism;

(iv) enhance accountability and transparency by providing for audit of accounts of the Institutes by a firm of chartered accountants to be appointed annually by the Council from the panel of auditors maintained by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India;

(v) provide for autonomy to the Council of the respective Institutes to fix various fees.

CA, CWA and CS (Amendment) Bill, 2021 Introduced in Lok Sabha (dt. 17/12/2021)

On 22/12/2021, the Government has decided to refer the bill to a Parliamentary Standing Committee for scrutiny, in view of concerns expressed by ICAI over certain proposed amendments, specially the proposal to induct presiding officer of the disciplinary committee who is not a Chartered Accountant (non CA).

Concerns of ICAI seems to be highly logical, as the Presiding Officer of Disciplinary Committee should have thorough knowledge and experience of the Profession and the Ethical Standards for participating in the judgement process in a disciplinary case.

3 Comments

  1. CMA D Mukherjee
    • Anirudha Sen
  2. RAMESH

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