Dear Professional Colleagues,
The ascent of our nation and economy on the global landscape is a matter of immense pride and satisfaction. Today, the whole world is watching and listening to our opinion and holds reverence for our growing economic prowess. As per IMF, the Indian economy will continue to grow fastest among large economies, and India is expected to contribute about 18% of the global growth by 2028. We rank third in the world 'startup' ecosystem and emerging as one of the most attractive investment destination, leading manufacturing hub. As I reflect upon the rise of India on the global stage, I am elated and feel proud that our profession is emerging as an active contributor in shaping the economic landscape of our great nation. Our professionals have diligently ensured that the financial disclosures and the reports which form the basis of a prudent financial or investment decision adhere to international standards, best practices and policies making India an attractive destination for foreign investment.
Since inception, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has been playing a crucial and proactive role in the economic progress and development of the nation. Reflecting upon the words of ICAI Past President Shri G. Basu, "We are fully alive to the responsibilities, duties, and obligations of the chartered accountants to the government, to the public in general and to their clients and we are doing and would do our best to see that the expectations are duly fulfilled." We have been diligently shouldering and discharging the responsibility of not only supporting the nation's growth and development but also upholding the faith and confidence of its citizens. Over the years, our profession has shaped this narrative of turning Ambitions into Actions by supporting the government with invaluable insights for sound policy formulation and implementation of its various schemes, leading to growing tax collections, compliance and successful implementation of GST reforms paving the path of growth for economic development. Similarly, as trusted business advisors, the profession is augmenting the competence, capacity, and capabilities of MSMEs & Startups. We are striving to attain financial awareness by educating and empowering individuals through Financial & Tax literacy drive. Also, the profession has been steadfastly enhancing the governance by supporting the institutions and local government entities in imbibing and incorporating best practices. The profession has truly come to represent itself as Partner in Nation Building. As we move forward, as an Institution and profession embodying pursuit of excellence, we continue to evolving, embracing new technologies, nurturing new skills, and methodologies in the era shaped by sustainability, the digital economy, technology, and rising global expectations. Let's have a look at some of the developments that have taken place during the last month:
ICAI receives Prestigious UNCTAD ISAR Honours Award at World Investment Forum
With immense pleasure and pride, I wish to inform you all that the ICAI's initiative "Sustainability Reporting Standards Board (SRSB)" received an Award in UNCTAD ISAR Honours Ceremony at the World Investment Forum on 17th October 2023 at Abu Dhabi. ICAI received the highest score in this year's session of ISAR HONOURS among 70 initiatives from all over the world. ISAR Honours award of UNCTAD celebrates innovative developments, raises awareness, and promotes national and global best practices in sustainability and SDG reporting. On behalf of the fraternity and ICAI it was a true honour to receive this Award. This is indeed a true acknowledgement and recognition of the various and continuous initiatives undertaken by the ICAI in the area of Sustainability which has attracted attention & accolades from one and all. ICAI also had its pavilion at the World Investment Forum wherein various initiatives and publications of ICAI, the much awaited event of GloPAC and global presence of ICAI and its members were showcased and highly appreciated by the delegates.
Development Initiatives for Profession
Technical Guide on Reports of Audit Under Section 12A/10(23C) of the Income-tax Act, 1961
ICAI has long been committed to advancing the knowledge and honing the skills of its members. In line with this, we are mindful of the recent amendments in the compliance regulations for Charitable Trusts and Institutions under the Incometax Act, 1961, which also witnessed the renotification of Form No. 10B and 10BB. Notably, the updated Form No. 10B and 10BB, released in the final week of August, now demand detailed reporting. Understanding the intricacies of these forms and ensuring the smooth fulfilment of the statutory obligations associated with them has been a priority for ICAI. To this end, the Direct Taxes Committee (DTC) has released the "Technical Guide on Reports of Audit Under Section 12A/10(23C) of the Incometax Act, 1961". This comprehensive guide provides an invaluable resource for understanding the audit reports required under Sections 12A and 10(23C). Further, in order to resolve the issues being faced by members in filling these audit forms, a series of Live Webinars on Form No. 10B and 10BB were also organised in the month of September and October 2023. These webinars served as a platform for members to gain a practical understanding of the revised forms and the associated reporting requirements.
MoU with IGNOU
The Institute through its Board of Studies (Academic), has renewed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in a ceremony on 9th October 2023, which has flourished since 2007. I along with CA. Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal, Vice President, ICAI & CA. (Dr.) Debashis Mitra, Immediate Past President, ICAI exchanged the MoU with Prof. Nageshwar Rao, Vice-Chancellor, IGNOU in the presence of CA. Vishal Doshi and CA. Dayaniwas Sharma, Chairman and Vice- Chairman respectively of Board of Studies (Academics), ICAI Central Council members, Govt. Nominees, and senior officials from IGNOU. Under this renewed MoU, ICAI students will be eligible for credit transfer for courses they have completed through ICAI, up to 50% of the total credits of the IGNOU programme. This initiative underscores ICAI's commitment to evolve with the changing educational landscape and aligning the curriculum with the principles of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. Credit transfers will be facilitated on a course-tocourse basis for Foundation, Intermediate and Final level courses. Over the years, this MoU has made a significant impact, with more than 48,000 ICAI students successfully completing the B.Com. (Accountancy & Finance) course and more than 8,000 students completing the M.Com. (Finance & Taxation) course through IGNOU. This collaboration reflects our commitment to quality commerce education in the country.
Augmenting Audit Compliance Framework - CAQ Utilities
With a view to enhance the competence of firms in serving clients and improve the quality of Audit compliance, the Centre for Audit Quality Directorate has recently launched two valuable tools/utilities namely Review & Monitoring Tool for 'Standards on Auditing Compliance' and 'Utility on Engagement Letters'. The utilities will enable the firms to manage the audit process and documentation in an effective and efficient manner. ICAI remains dedicated to providing resources and support to the members in navigating these complex regulatory changes.
Leadership at CAPA
I, along with ICAI Past President CA. Prafulla Chhajed attended the CAPA Members and Assembly of Delegates meetings held in Colombo on 5-6 October 2023 to discuss and deliberate on the recent economic developments in the region and work towards supporting the economic progress in the region. In a heartening development, ICAI Past President CA. Prafulla P. Chhajed has been elected as President CAPA and I have been elected as Board Member of CAPA.
Global Professional Accountants Convention (GloPAC)
We express our gratitude for the remarkable response that event has garnered from across the globe with about 3700 delegates from 27 countries and India, registering for the event and it is expected to grow further, as we are approaching GloPAC this month. GloPAC is a unique opportunity for professional accountants from around the world to come together and deliberate upon realigning and redefining the role of profession as a catalyst to value creation for the global economy. The convention will delve deeper into the challenges and opportunities that the profession is facing today and how accountants can continue to raise the bar and play a leading role in driving economic growth and development. We look forward to welcoming all the delegates and global accounting leadership at this magnificent event and shall strive to make it a Festival of Ideas, Insights and Innovations which aspires and inspires the financial ecosystem move to the next orbit of progress.
Stakeholders' Engagement - Supporting Progress & Growth
In today's evolving business milieu, working in tandem with stakeholders is essential to progress and achieve success by leveraging each other's competence and resources. At the institute, we keep on collaborating with stakeholders to foster a culture of oneness in building a robust and resilient economy.
MoU with State Taxes Department, Jammu & Kashmir
The Institute, through GST & Indirect Taxes Committee, has entered into a MoU with State Taxes Department, Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) on October 1, 2023. The MoU aims to strengthen the taxation system in the state and promote transparent and better services to taxpayers by providing support in capacity building, skill development and knowledge sharing. The MoU was exchanged in the presence of Shri Manoj Sinha, Hon'ble Lieutenant Governor, Jammu & Kashmir, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, J&K, Shri Santosh D Vaidya, Principal Secretary, Finance, J&K, CA. Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal, Vice-President, ICAI, and CA. Sushil Kumar Goyal Chairman, GST & Indirect Taxes Committee, CA. Umesh Sharma, Vice-Chairman, GST & Indirect Taxes Committee and CA. (Dr.) Raj Chawla, Central Council Member.
Supporting Women Entrepreneurship - Statement of Intent (SOI) with NITI Aayog
The Institute continuing its support to Women Entrepreneurship in the country has signed a Statement of Intent (SOI) with NITI Aayog, through its Professional Development Committee (PDC) on 3rd October, 2023 in Goa in the presence of Dr. Pramod Sawant, Hon'ble Chief Minister of Goa, Shri B V R Subrahmanyam, CEO, NITI Aayog, Ms. Anna Roy, Senior Advisor, NITI Aayog, CA. Prasanna Kumar D, Chairman, PDC and CA. Mangesh P. Kinare, Vice-Chairman, PDC. Under the said arrangement, the ICAI shall provide its professional expertise through a panel of experts to the women entrepreneurs registered with the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) of the NITI Aayog, as well as its infrastructure and resources across the country for creating awareness about WEP.
MoU with FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO)
The ICAI through its Group for Promoting Financial & Tax Literacy has renewed its collaboration with the FLO for the second consecutive year. Both the organisations shall be working together to create financial & tax literacy awareness amongst the women by way of knowledge dissemination and skill development to empower them and achieve the goal of financial inclusion in true essence.
Trade Officers Round Table Conclave
Chartered Accountants plays a pivotal role in boosting global trade in services and ICAI partners with the government to enhance international recognition of Indian accountants. Through its Committee for Development of International Trade, Services, and WTO, ICAI undertakes various initiatives to promote export of goods and services aligned with the nation's economic policies. In this context, a Trade Officers' Roundtable Conclave was held in New Delhi on October 25, 2023, and witnessed the participation of 35 trade officials from various embassies along with representatives from Export Promotion Councils and Overseas Chamber of Commerce. The ICAI's role in facilitating global trade, bilateral trade enhancement, investment promotion, and capacity-building for accounting professionals was highlighted along with exchange of MoU (renewal) with Export Promotion Council for EOUs and SEZs.
Bolstering India's entrepreneurial landscape - MSME & Startup Initiatives
In an extensive effort to bolster India's entrepreneurial landscape and journey of self-reliance, the Institute has launched two significant initiatives to strengthen the MSME and Startup ecosystem in the country. The ICAI MSME Connect Program, started from October 20, 2023, to February 10, 2024, aims to support our members who advise Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) on entering international trade and boosting exports. It includes the ICAI MSME Niryat program, assisting potential exporters with mentoring and counselling, and the ICAI MSME Sahayog program, which provides support in terms of skills and quality, market access, finance availability, and technology knowhow, among the many other things. Simultaneously, the ICAI Startup Yatra commenced from October 20, 2023, to February 10, 2024, aims to create enabling ecosystems and enhance the capacity of startups in 140 cities. This includes the ICAI Startup Manthan and ICAI Startup Samvad programs, fostering innovation, registration, and capacity building for startups. These initiatives intend to bridge the gap between tier I and tier II city ecosystems, fostering a thriving entrepreneurial culture.
International Research Awards 2023
The Institute through its Research Committee had organised the 4th edition of the ICAI International Research Awards 2023 to acknowledge the exemplary contributions to the fields of accountancy and other allied areas, honouring the quest for knowledge and celebrating the pursuit of wisdom. The award ceremony was held on October 19, in Dubai. A total of 172 nominations were received from 33 countries including authors and co-authors of the research papers, which is the largest number of nominations since the commencement of these awards. The awards were presented to 15 research papers. Awardees hail from 11 different countries (authors and co-authors) including Australia, Benin, Brunei Darussalam, France, India, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka & Tunisia. I urge all members to develop research skills which will keep us ahead on the growth curve by being more innovative.
Expanding Social Media Presence
It is our continuous endeavour to leverage technology and social media as a part of our communication strategy to widen our impact & outreach and engage meaningfully with stakeholders. I am pleased to inform you that ICAI has successfully launched its Official Whatsapp Channel. With this, ICAI now has presence on Nine Social Media Platforms namely Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Koo, Instagram, Telegram, YouTube, Threads and WhatsApp with combined follower count of around 22 lakhs and counting.
Partnering Economic Growth and Social Progress
As the former President of our Institute CA. Y. H. Malegam said, "...the primary objective of our education and training processes should be to produce a well-rounded professional who gets integrated into the society of which he is a part. In the pursuit of our education activities… we must always be conscious of the fact that the output from our profession has to be of direct benefit to Government as well as to society in general and industry in particular." In our role as partners in nation building, we understand that driving future growth necessitates a strong commitment to developing human capital. Our dedication to nurturing young talents and upholding ethical principles ensures that we meet India's visionary goals for 2047. We understand and acknowledge that we are the architects of an economically resilient and progressive India. I compliment the athletes' bringing laurels to India in the Asian games, wherein India won its highest ever number of medals. Reflecting on the recent performance at the games, we're reminded of the virtues of discipline, perseverance, and resilience. In sports, or the profession, it's these qualities that define the champions. Our profession aligns with the essence of these virtues, making us optimistic about our role in shaping the future of India. Together, we'll continue to build a nation that exemplifies the very best in growth, progress, and prosperity, leaving a legacy for the future generations to follow. I extend my warmest greetings to everyone as we step into the festive season. Let's rejoice in these moments of happiness and convey the message of optimism, harmony, and affection. Jai Hind, Jai ICAI!
CA. Aniket Sunil Talati
President, ICAI New Delhi