As I pen down my last communication as Chairman of the most exuberant and active Region of the Country, it is truly hard to believe how quickly the year has passed. It was certainly a very busy year brimming with a bouquet of activities, which is probably why it passed in the blink of an eye.
Keeping our legacy intact, I am proud to share that the Western Region has once again been adjudged the ‘Best Region’ as well as the ‘Best Students Association’. It is indeed a wonderful feeling to end my term on a high note. Apart from being the Best Region our Branches have also proved their mettle and bagged many awards in respective categories.
My compliments to office bearers CA Priyam Shah, Vice Chairman, WIRC; CA Purushottam Khandelwal, Secretary, WIRC and CA Balkishan Agarwal, Treasurer, WIRC, for their continuous support in curating and monitoring various activities during the year. I also compliment CA Vikrant Kulkarni, Chairman, WICASA, for leading the team and the activities for the year. It’s truly been an unparalleled privilege to serve as Chairman of WIRC of ICAI for 2018-19 and as a Regional Council Member for 2013-18.
As I end my term, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on a great and memorable year, wherein we organised nume rous successful seminars, conferences, interactive & technical meetings, refresher & study courses & workshops for members and students and celebrations throughout this active and enterprising year.
We celebrated our 70th Republic Day at ICAI Tower, BKC, with our members and students. Our traditional flag hoisting ceremony was graced by Shri Rajendra Patni, Hon'ble Member of Legislative Assembly, Maharashtra, and Shri S.K. Mohanty, Hon'ble Member, CESTAT, Mumbai. Shri Patni shared his views on how the Government is looking forward to induct the services of Chartered Accountants in their various Ministries and Departments of the State Government. We are in the process of making a representation on this subject to Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Hon'ble Chief Minister, Maharashtra and Shri D.K. Jain, Chief Secretary, Maharashtra. We shall also be making a representation on the muchawaited amnesty scheme by Registrar of Firms (RoF), which shall be beneficial for members and businesses due to the outstanding compliances.
Shri Mohanty invited Chartered Accountants to appear before the benches at CESTAT and made us aware about opportunities for us. He complimented our members on the contribution that we are making in the good governance and success of erstwhile Service Tax cases and the current regime of GST.
I had the pleasure of meeting and interacting with Shri Vinod Sharma, Hon'ble Registrar of Companies, Mumbai, who also invited Chartered Accountants to appear before the authorities in the various proceedings at RoC, across our Region.
Forensic Audits have become an important and popular area of practice. The CBI maintains a panel of Chartered Accountant Firms which is due for updation. In a meeting with the CBI authorities, we have requested the CBI, Western Region, to open the empanelment process and allow more firms to empanel themselves. The CBI has requested us to conduct a special training session for the officers on how to read financial statements.
Keeping our promise, the ICAI incubation centre at ICAI Tower, BKC, continues to support our budding start up enterprises and is receiving healthy accolades by our enterprising members.
The campus placements at various locations across the region have reaped good results. I thank all the organizations who have supported this initiative.
The quality of our infrastructure facilities keeps getting better. Let us congratulate Goa and Surat for their branch buildings and Vasai at Navi Mumbai for their new facilities, which will be an excellent support for members and students. It was pleasing to see them take on these constructive initiatives.
I am especially proud that we have taken up the "Beti Padhao" initiative. Let us reach out to the girls’ schools and colleges and provide basic training to girl students in colleges on GST. As our initiative this year, we hosted the ‘Women Members’ campus placement programme. I express my gratitude and compliments to the Chairperson, Women Member Empowerment Committee, for these ground breaking initiatives.
We kept up our legacy and continued to release our professional publications. I thank every contributor and compiler for their untiring efforts, time and resources in ensuring best quality content and timely compilation of these specialised books.
This year saw the very bold and welcome decision of decentralisation of the election counting process to the respective Regional offices. This resulted in the saving of resources as well as time of members and the staff and was well appreciated.
We have also approached Hon'ble Consulate Generals of various countries for student exchange programmes and overseas professional opportunities for our members. The communications from them have begun and we have been assured of a breakthrough on this initiative over a period of time.
ICAI has made reasonable strides towards the development of the e-compliance platform for members and students in filing various forms. Major reforms have taken place recently and we foresee a complete transformation in this system in the immediate future. Our compliments on this much-awaited and welcome move.
The ICAI ‘Leadership Awards’ highlighted the efforts put in by our members towards showcasing their entrepreneurship skills. It was an honour to listen to the enterprising views of Ms. Ananya Kumar Mangalam Birla, the founder of Svatantra Microfinance.
The year saw numerous interactive meetings with heads of Regulatory bodies like CGST, SGST, CBI, C&AG, EoW, Police Department (ATS wing), Mumbai, PF Department under Ministry of Labour and Employment, Regional Director and RoC, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Customs Department, Income Tax Settlement Commission. The most promising take-away from these meetings was the probability of a wide array of professional opportunities that are beckoning us.
Shri Guljari Lal, Hon’ble Director General, Audit, (Central), recommended to their apex to consider ICAI as their official knowledge partners and trainers for GST across the country.
It’s heartening to share that 114 academic institutions including IIMs and IITs have agreed to consider our “Chartered Accountant” degree to be equivalent to postgraduation, which will permit us to pursue a PhD. I thank our leaders for this recognition which shall bring immense benefits to our members in times to come.
As Chartered Accountants we shall always continue to hold ourselves at the highest esteem. The ethos of ICAI - ‘Excellence, Independence, Integrity’ reminds us to constantly better ourselves at every platform.
These words are strong reminders to members and students that the critical element to imbibe as professionals is high quality growth and consistency. Consistent excellence, consistent ethics and consistent results have garnered Chartered Accountants a tremendously positive reputation.
It takes a collective and concerted effort to make a large association like ours run smoothly, and I humbly thank Hon'ble President CA Naveen N. D. Gupta, Hon'ble Vice President CA Prafulla Chhajed, all CCM's, respected Past Presidents of ICAI and Past Chairpersons of WIRC, my colleagues in the Regional Council, and respected members and students for their contributions and support in all our activities. I also wish to recognize the untiring efforts of all our faculties, co-ordinators & the support team.
I especially thank ZOHO for being our technical partner during the entire term from 2016 and Taxmann for their remarkable support along with all the sponsors as their backing enabled us to create and implement initiatives of a very high professional calibre.
The zeal and enthusiasm of the leaders and members of every Branch and Study Circle of our region has created that silver lining in the quality of the activities conducted by us.
Last, but by far the most important element was the ever so dependable support provided by every member of the WIRC and DCO Staff at the Regional Office and at Branches for making this year a very memorable and successful one.
If I could take anything away from my experiences, I would state that mutual respect and how we communicate with one another are the keys to success. We are lucky to be surrounded by talented professionals and I have no doubt that our incoming leader will continue with a better and more holistic vision for the WIRC.
I thank you all – the members and students of WIRC – for allowing me to serve you over the last year. It has been a joy, and an experience that will always have a special place in my memories and which I shall always cherish. I have met many new, interesting colleagues, made many new friends, and enjoyed it to the fullest.
I shall always cherish and relish this opportunity of serving our great Institution. It has been my pride and honour to be of service to our Alma Mater in whatever best way I could serve.
As we pass on the reins to the new Council and the enterprising and dedicated office bearers for 2019-20, I wish them the best of luck and success with the assurance of my full support at every step.
With Best Wishes,
CA. Sandeep K.C. Jain
|Regional Council Members||Ex- Officio Members|