Indian FM asks chartered accountants to improve corporate governance

Indian finance minister Jaswant Singh has stressed upon the need to redefine the role of governance and regulators. He said that in free markets there is need for strong regulatory mechanisms, which are a combination of self-governance and formal rules.

Singh said that the Government has already set in motion a number of studies in this regard. The Minister was inaugurating 15th All India Conference of Chartered Accountants, in New Delhi.

Elaborating on the role of Government, Singh said that the basic job of government is to create an enabling environment for public-private partnership, link fiscal, monetary and other incentives to productivity and streamline public investment and social welfare programmes. He emphasized on greater consultations, monitoring of policies and operations to strengthen institutional structures and legal systems.

The Minister said that, in this context, the responsibilities of professionals such as chartered accountants was to ensure better corporate governance and best international practices. He said that in the post reform period, with less interference from Government, private and public sector enterprises have more autonomy and responsibility and required better assistance from professionals. With globalization and greater competition, there was an increased risk due to fluctuations of exchange rates, commodity prices and markets. He called upon chartered accountants to help improve corporate governance through the development of management information systems, asset liability management, management of risk! , Project appraisal and evaluation and prediction of sickness. The Minister emphasized that the chartered accountants have to perform their jobs without fear or pressures and need to be more transparent in their accounting practices.

The Minister said that a well governed State and orderly functioning of markets are essential for high growth and sustainability.

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