K.R. Srivats
Richa Mishra

New Delhi, June 21

THE Government may settle for a smaller expansion in the strength of the central council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) than what had been initially planned.

Indications are that the Ministry of Company Affairs may agree for 35 members as against the proposed level of 40 members.

The Chartered Accountants (Amendment) Bill 2003 had proposed that the strength of the council be expanded from the existing 30 to 40 members. The Company Affairs Minister, Mr Prem Chand Gupta, has already hinted that the Bills relating to the three professional bodies (ICAI, ICWAI and ICSI) may be taken up for passage during the coming monsoon session of Parliament.

Besides proposing an expansion to the strength of the council, the chartered accountants (amendment) Bill 2003 also sought to enhance the government representation in the central council of the institute. As against the current ratio of 4:1, the proposed Bill sought to grant a larger representation for government nominees by applying a ratio of 3:1. The Bill proposed a strength of 40 Council members with 30 elected from within the CA community and the rest 10 as nominees proposed by the Centre.

Under the existing Act, the ICAI Council has 30 members - 24 being elected members of the institute from the CA fraternity and the balance six being nominees of the Centre.

The ICAI has not been in favour of granting a larger representation to the Central Government in the council, as it feared that this might curtail its autonomy.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, which analysed the Chartered Accountants (Amendment) Bill, has rejected the proposal in the Bill that sought to enhance government representation in the central council of the institute.

It had, however, agreed to the proposal of expanding the council from the existing 30 to 40 members.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated June 22, 2005)
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