The Rajya Sabha has passed the CA Bill, and Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the autonomy of audit committees will not be harmed.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Tuesday that the Chartered Accountants, Cost and Works Accountants, and Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill, 2022, which was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, will not erode the autonomy of audit and accountancy bodies, but will strengthen corporate governance.
The Bill, which changes the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949, the Cost and Works Accountants Act, 1959, and the Company Secretaries Act, 1980, establishes a coordination committee led by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs' Secretary. It has provoked a debate both inside and outside the House of Commons.
"It hasn't even taken off," Sitharaman stated, despite the fact that a coordinating committee already exists, as some Opposition MPs have pointed out. "The suggested revisions are very much in keeping with the basic principles that the independent audit regulators have provided..." she stated.
Since the Satyam and ILFS scandals occurred, Sitharaman, who also holds the corporate affairs portfolio, has noted that doubts about auditing transparency have been raised. "We've been questioned several times about the number of CA failures.
"We need greater robustness in the corporate governance structure if we are to meet global investor expectations concerning our auditing standards, investment policy requirements, and how auditing certificates are issued."
The clause on the coordination committee was questioned by Opposition MPs, including Akali leader Naresh Gujral, who said the body's chairperson should be someone who is knowledgeable about the subject and has domain knowledge.