The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, on Tuesday asked the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to focus its attention on creating a second tier of accounting qualification that could meet the emerging demand for skilled accounting personnel in the growing rural economy and in small and medium sectors.
This suggestion was in tune with ICAIs plans to launch a new curriculum for rolling out annually about 50,000 'accounting technicians', who would fill the gap at the operational level in large as well as medium-sized enterprises as recognised accountants.
The unprecedented growth in the Indian economy in the recent years had resulted in huge demand for second-tier accounting personnel. The concept of accounting technicians was already prevalent in other countries such as New Zealand, Hong Kong, Ireland and England. The ICAI council in April this year gave its nod for the new course and was awaiting the approval of Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
Inaugurating the Diamond Jubilee year celebrations of the ICAI here today, Dr Singh also advised Indian chartered accountant firms to expand their operations outside the country and seek global opportunities and challenges.
He also urged chartered accountants, who number about 1.5 lakh today, to continue to benchmark themselves against the best available global practices. We cannot be satisfied with the chalta hai attitude if we have to satisfy the ambitions of our growing workforce for a fast expanding economy and polity with tremendous opportunities on the horizon, Dr Singh said.
On corporate governance, Dr Singh said that it was the responsibility of chartered accountants to ensure that domestic corporate entities do indeed conform to high governance standards.