Welcome back after a long and exhausting tax audit filing season and the refreshing Diwali break.
As per the 2020 edition of World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking, India jumped 14 places to 63 in the overall ranking, riding on the sustained business and economic reforms undertaken by the government over the past several years. India has climbed 79 positions in the last five years and has been among the top ten performers for the third year running. According to reports, India improved its ranking on seven out of ten indicators tracked by the World Bank with the highest 56-place jump to 52 in resolving insolvency. The lowest gain was with regard to starting a business. PM Narendra Modi had, in 2014, set a target of breaking into the top 50 by 2020. We are hopeful and confident that this will indeed be achieved. This will help us in attracting foreign investment, boosting the sluggish economy and thereby enhancing the country’s overall competitiveness.
On a different note, I also came across another world ranking on a diverse parameter. According to the Global Hunger Index 2019 Report, India ranked 102 out of 117 countries in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2019, placed below its South Asian neighbours such as Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan. This report suggests, ‘India is suffering from a serious hunger problem’. In 2014, India’s ranking was 55 out of 76 countries, which has worsened in 2019 to 102 out of 117. It is ironical that we are making all-out efforts on the economic fronts but are lagging behind in taking care of the basic necessity of life, i.e., food. I am sure the government has taken cognisance and will take all the necessary corrective steps for the well-being of our fellow countrymen.
Recently, the ICAI announced that it had come to its notice that certain members in practice were listing their services with certain online application-based service provider aggregators, wherein other business persons, technicians, maintenance workers, event organisers, etc. were also listed. ICAI cited that subject to fulfilment of certain conditions and guidelines, publication of name or firm name by Chartered Accountants in the telephone or other such directories published by telephone authorities or private bodies is permissible. However, application-based service provider aggregators are not covered in this category. Therefore, it is not permissible for members to list themselves with such aggregators. Members are advised not to be tempted by any such offers and refrain from listing their or their firm’s name or services on such websites or mobile applications.
Our society has announced two marquee events which are open for enrolment. The first-ever Internal Audit Residential Refresher Course (RRC) is planned for 21st and 22nd November at Lonavala with the theme ‘Let’s Converge’. It’s for the first time that such an event is being organised specifically for internal audit professionals; we have a galaxy of distinguished paper writers on various topics, which would help them to become better internal auditors. The flagship 53rd RRC has also been announced. It will be held in Tirupati between 9th and 12th January, 2020. Its theme is ‘Emerging Areas of Practice’, apart from routine papers on direct tax and a multi-disciplinary panel discussion. Refer to the website and event announcements for other details. Members are requested to enrol for these events, which also provide an excellent networking opportunity.
On 21st October, 2019 our Society lost one of its most respected and illustrious Past Presidents, Kahan Chand Narang, or Narang Saheb as he was popularly called. He was the President in 1992-93, but his association with and contributions to its activities go back decades before that. Apart from other Committees, he was an integral part of the Accounting & Auditing and Journal Committees to which his contributions have been invaluable. His ideas and suggestions have also been vital for the Editorial Board of the BCAJ, of which he was a member for more than two decades. He was a thorough professional and a perfectionist. A man ahead of his times, he had a passion for reading and research. He always had the interest of the Society and inspired many young members to take up leadership positions. On a personal front, I was very fortunate to have known and worked with Narang Saheb for almost 25 years; in fact, he was the person who introduced me to this wonderful organisation. May his soul rest in eternal peace. We will deeply miss you, Sir.
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CA. Manish Sampat