On Tuesday, the halls of Rajya Sabha bustled with members as another important bill was tabled in the Upper House. This time it was “Chartered Accountants, the Cost and Works, Accountants, the Cost and Works Accountant and the Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill, 2022”, passed with a voice vote.
According to the Rajya Sabha’s website, the voice note means “the Chairman puts the question before the House and invites those who are in favour of the motion to say ‘Aye’ and those against the motion to say “No”. Then the Chairman says, “I think the Ayes or the Noes, (as the case may be) have it”. This method is called voting by ‘voice vote’, and votes are not recorded.
The bill was opposed by all opposition parties, including Congress, The All India Trinamool Congress (TMC), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), and The Yuvajana Shramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP). Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced the bill. Sitharaman spoke for more than 2 hours, explaining the bill, which amends the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 and Works Accountants Act, 1959, and the Company Secretaries Act, 1980.
What does the Chartered Accountants, Cost and Works Accountants, and Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill state?
The introduced bills change the mechanism used earlier for disciplinary actions under the three Acts and specify the timeline which needs to be given for the disciplinary proceedings. In addition, it increased more representation on the Board of Discipline and Disciplinary committee.
Currently, the disciplinary committee for CAs has five members, out of which three are The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) members, and two are government nominees. The bill introduced wants to include two CAs and three non-CAs. Also, the disciplinary committee should be headed by a non-Chartered Accountant.
- Section 9 of the bill states, “There shall be a Coordination Committee consisting of the President, Vice-President and the Secretary of the Council of each of the Institutes of Chartered Accountants of India, the Cost Accountants of India and the Company Secretaries of India for the development and harmonization of the professions of Chartered Accountants, Cost Accountants and Company Secretaries.”
- The meeting of the Coordination Committee will be chaired by the Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
- The meeting of the Coordination Committee needs to be held once every quarter of a year.
What is the purpose of this committee?
- There should be effective coordination of the functions assigned to each institute.
- The institute should ensure the quality of improvement in the academics, infrastructure, research, and all other work related to the institutions.
- Making recommendations in matters relating to the regulatory policies needed for the profession.