ICAI initiates talks amongst stakeholders to catalyse Government Accounting Reforms

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) through its Committee on Public Finance and Accounting Standards for Local Bodies has organised a National Summit on “Transparency & Accountability on Government Financial Management” on October 11-12, 2019 at New Delhi. The Summit was today inaugurated by Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Hon’ble Minister of State for Rural Development in the presence of senior officials from the Government, CA. Atul Kumar Gupta, Vice-President, ICAI and Central Council Members, ICAI.

Speaking on the occasion, the Hon’ble Minister acknowledged the efforts of Chartered Accountants in maintaining the financial health of the nation. The Minister further highlighted the importance of accountability in the Government Financial Management and expected that all stakeholders, once brought together through this Summit, will work in tandem to give momentum to the accounting reforms in the Government.

Shri S.S. Dubey, Joint Secretary & Financial Advisor, Ministry of Housing & Urban Development addressed the participants and said “Good governance always rests on the pillars of transparency & accountability. ICAI is actively working towards promoting the accrual accounting. The Ministry would like to work in close partnership with ICAI to facilitate, promote and encourage Urban Local bodies to move towards accrual accounting.”

He further added “Public Financial Management (PFM) is a transformative initiative undertaken by the Government. Good financial reporting is also a foundation for good fiscal management. Public Financial Management System (PFMS) was started as a central planned monitoring system which has now become an all-encompassing and end to end solution for processing all the payment, accounting, tracking, reporting and monitoring of the Government financial transactions.”

CA. Atul Kumar Gupta, Vice-President, ICAI elaborated on the benefits of accrual accounting vis a vis cash based transactions. He said “Accrual accounting provides adequate information for better decision making, analysis , helps in prioritisation of expenses and Monetisation of assets, gives true & fair view of liabilities / assets. It further helps in strategizing treatment of various transactions.”

Shri Gupta further added “ICAI conducted a mammoth exercise to convert the entire Indian Railway, the 3rd largest railway network of the world, from single entry to double entry in last 3 years. Based on the data made available as a result of the exercise conducted by ICAI, Indian Railways would be able to take many calculative decisions in several areas.”

He said “There are many studies being conducted by ICAI to augment revenue, based on accrual accounting. ICAI also conducted a study about how Urban Local Bodies can be made self-sufficient and what kind of revenue can be generated by them with the help of data generated through accrual based accounting.”

He mentioned “ICAI has also adapted Accounting Standards for local bodies after the required carve outs to meet the needs of urban local bodies of our country. These Standards have been submitted to the Ministry for notification and once notified they can be implemented by the local bodies for the accrual accounting. ICAI is spearheading to see that all Urban local bodies are not only self-sufficient but they also partner in the nation building through conscious & effective decision making.”

CA. Dhiraj Kumar Khandelwal, Chairman of the Committee recounted the efforts made to make this Summit a reality which includes meetings held with various eminent Government officials. The Summit is bringing together Government officials both from Central & State Ministries, officials of Local Bodies, both Urban & Rural, professionals, academicians and researchers from across the country engaged in the field of accounting and reforms thereof in government accounting and public finance.

On the occasion, CA. Sanjeev Kumar Singhal, Vice-Chairman of the Committee shared details about the technical deliberations which were to follow on a wide range of topics in the national summit. He also highlighted the benefits that accrual system of accounting will entail in terms of transparency, accountability and efficient utilisation of public money

Apart from individual sessions like Raising fund through Capital market, Creating effective Municipal Bond Market , Citizen’s Participation in Local Bodies, Big Data Analytics: Role in Smart Cities etc., the Summit has lined up several interesting panel discussions on topics ranging from Cash Based Accounting System to Effective Implementation of PRIASoft, Local Bodies – Creating Climate for Reforms etc.

The 2 day Summit shall be addressed by senior Government officials including many IAS, IA&AS, ICAS officers and professionals. The Summit witnessed participation of senior officials from more than 20 States & Union Territories.

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