24 Jul 2017 11:58 IST

After PM’s criticism, CA Institute to brainstorm on July 24

Modi had highlighted CA Institute’s poor track record on disciplinary front, high pendency of cases

Taking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tough talk in right earnest, the CA Institute will on Monday discuss the way forward on crucial issues, including improving the disciplinary mechanism and steps needed to create a ‘Big Four’ network out of India.

On July 1, while addressing a gathering of Chartered Accountants, the Prime Minister had highlighted the CA Institute’s poor track record on the disciplinary front and the high pendency of cases. It was also pointed out that the current mechanism was causing delay in settling cases, with the result that only 25 CAs have been brought to book in the last 11 years.

The Central Council of the Institute is meeting to discuss the issues. Speaking to BusinessLine, CA Institute President Nilesh Vikamsey said that post 2006 (when the new disciplinary system was introduced) things have been fast-tracked.

“Pendency has come down drastically. However, there needs to be further improvement. Currently, as pointed out by PM, there are 1,400 cases pending at the prima facie stage,” Vikamsey said.

He noted that average pendency in such cases was three years, which is on the higher side; it should ideally be six months. “The Director Discipline has promised me that most of this (1,400 pending cases) will be off by December this year,” he said.

Not for more scrutiny

Vikamsey was clearly not for adding another layer of oversight on the CA fraternity in addition to the CA Institute. This is even as the Centre was toying with the idea of setting up a National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA).

“We already have adequate oversight within the current system. It is a misconception that we are a fully self-regulated organisation. We feel the current system is reasonably okay. However, we are still open and whatever the government feels, we are willing to strengthen the mechanism,” he said.

Vikamsey highlighted that there are already government nominees in the Board of Discipline and the Disciplinary Committee.

The CA Institute also plans to once again press the government for a change to the CA Act so as to be empowered to take penal action against erring CA firms.

“The problem with the Act is we are not allowed to punish the firms. We had sought this power in 2010 after the Satyam thing. Unfortunately, we have not,” Vikamsey said.