CAs should tilt in favour of tax planning and condemn tax evasion: VP

Jagdeep Dhankhar: India is emerging as a global hub of financial and accounting processes

The Vice President of India, Jagdeep Dhankhar described Chartered Accountants as a finance form of MRI and CT scan and underlined that any dilution of their unique role would have cascading impact on the nation's economy and financial health.

 FinTech BizNews Service    

Mumbai, November 24, 2023: The Vice President of India, Jagdeep Dhankhar today described Chartered Accountants as a finance form of MRI and CT scan and underlined that any dilution of their unique role would have cascading impact on the nation's economy and financial health.

 Addressing the inaugural session of 'Global Professional Accountants Convention' in Gandhinagar, Gujarat today, the Vice President stressed that tax evasion and financial frauds endanger the financial stability and economic growth of the economy. “As watchdogs your capacity is potent enough to contain these,” he told the Chartered Accountants present there.

Observing that a tax system is only as good or as complicated as tax professionals make it, he wanted all CAs to take a pledge to be global leaders in benchmarking best practices that enhance ease and transparency.

“Advising on tax planning is your domain. But this domain has a thin line. This should not extend to tax dodging and tax evasion,” he said. Describing the Chartered Accountants as the custodians of this thin line between tax planning and evasion, he asked them to “always tilt in favour of tax planning and condemn tax evasion.”

In his address, VP said that Chartered Accountants as the custodians of financial integrity need to exemplify by action to secure transparent and accountable financial systems. Asserting that there can be no legal transgressions or window dressing if a Chartered Accountant is so determined, Shri Dhankhar said, “You alone can do this. No one else can do this. This is your exclusive domain. When a CA stands up, the resistance may be momentary, ultimately he has to prevail.”

The Vice-President emphasized Chartered Accountants' crucial role in driving the nation's economic growth as ‘Nerve center & Epicenter of big change’ that shape what Bharat will be in 2047. He highlighted their contribution in combating corruption, uncovering malfunctions, and detecting corporate fraud. He stated that their determination could eliminate legal transgressions and window dressing practices.

Cautioning that ‘Compromising of Ethics is no less than an Earthquake in the fiscal world’, the Vice-President underscored that ethics play a pivotal role in fostering trust and integrity across financial reporting, auditing, taxation, and consulting services. Emphasizing the significance of a fair taxation and financial reporting system extending beyond mere revenue generation for the government, Shri Dhankhar praised that "CAs in Bharat have the highest 'Ethics Quotient'”, by making their clients adhere to Rule of Law. He also urged for a contemporaneous governance mechanism that can help Chartered Accountants unleash energy to attain public good and growth of the nation.

The Vice-President highlighted that the convention's theme, "Connecting the Globe, Creating Value," resonates with our economy's current dynamics. He emphasized its alignment with the G20 motto, "?????????????? - One Earth, One Family, One Future.

The Vice-President noted that in today's ecosystem, transparency and accountability stand as new norms. The power corridors, once plagued by corrupt practices influencing commercial decisions, have undergone a cleansing process. He highlighted that with a zero-tolerance stance against corruption, the role of CAs flourishes. Noting that the adage, "Be you ever so high, the law is always above you," is now a ground reality, the VP stated that “the people who think they are above law, they are special category, they have learnt lessons and hard way”.

Reflecting on Gandhi Ji's words, "World has enough for everybody's needs but not everybody's greed," the Vice-President highlighted how some are driven by greed, not truly asleep but 'feign sleep.' He pointed out the ICAI's motto, "a person who is awake in those that sleep," aptly encapsulating the role of CAs in present times.

Talking about the importance of economic nationalism in trade and industry, the Vice-President emphasized its priority over fiscal gains. He appreciated the 'Vocal for Local' initiative by the government and highlighted how importing non-essential goods impacts foreign exchange reserves, hampers job creation, and obstructs entrepreneurial growth. Additionally he stressed that export of raw materials without value addition, leads to its adverse impact on employment opportunities and underscores the nation's inadequacy in engaging effectively in value addition processes. VP further urged CAs to nurture spirit of Economic Nationalism amongst the business industry.

The Vice President appreciated India's remarkable economic trajectory, transitioning from the 'Fragile-Five economies' to now proudly holding the fifth-largest global economy position in a short span of a decade surpassing the economic prowess of the UK and France in 2022. Shri Dhankhar further emphasized India's momentum toward surpassing Japan and Germany by 2030, leading the nation into the coveted position of the world's third-largest economy.

Referring to the GST as the "Tryst with Modernity", the Vice-President remarked that it stands as the largest tax reform since independence, completely transforming the country's indirect taxation landscape. He also praised the Chartered Accountants fraternity for their role in shaping Goods and Services Tax into the user-friendly 'Good and Simple Tax.'

Urging action towards harnessing recent technological breakthroughs like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Quantum Computing and Web 3.0, VP emphasized the imperative to unleash their potential. He further informed that substantial budgetary allocation has been made to the National Quantum Mission and Green Hydrogen Mission. Stressing the importance in this digital era, he highlighted the need for Chartered Accountants to actively align with the digital ecosystem, positioning them at its forefront. ‘The emergence of FinTech can be a case in point’, he noted.

The Vice-President acknowledged India is emerging as a global hub of financial and accounting processes in which Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has been playing a stellar role in building, standardising and sustaining the financial and accounting framework of the nation. In conclusion, the Vice-President expressed confidence ICAI will continue to make its mark on the global canvas for further enrichment and enhancement of the accounting and auditing standards and ethical integrity at national and global levels.

Piyush Goyal, Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles, Govt. of India, Praful Pansheriya, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Primary, Secondary and Adult Education, Higher Education, Govt. of Gujarat, Ms. Asmaa Resmouki, President, International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), CA. Aniket S. Talati, President, ICAI and other dignitaries attended the event. 

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