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CAs to help Cong get the numbers right
August, 23rd 2007
The next time you hear a politician straining his vocal chords at some public forum, rest assured he would be ranting some numbers, figures, growth rates and percentages, besides the usual speech. For, the numeric ammunition will soon be supplied by a qualified chartered accountant (CA).

After advocates, now CAs are set to play an important role in politics. Probably for the first time in India, the Congress will have a separate wing of CAs in Gujarat where the state Assembly elections are due by the year-end. Out of about 1.40 lakh CAs, over 35,000 professionals belong to Gujarat. The party will replicate the model in other states, too, in coming days.

CAs are the most-trusted lieutenants of the business community, especially in enterprising states like Gujarat. It is believed that the Congress now intends to create a trade-, commerce- and industry-friendly wing to win over businessmen. The party is hoping to bounce back to power after sitting in Opposition in Gujarat assembly for over a decade.

The country needs professionals to enter politics and do constructive work to boost Indian economy further. Typical politicians need to be aware of the issues related to the industry for industrial growth, and CAs who understand both economy and laws can assist them well, Kailash Gadhvi, a city-based prominent CA and member of the Congress CA cell, told ET. Mr Gadhvi, the core team member of the Congress proposed CA wing, is planning to have a team of at least 2-5 CAs in each district of the state associated with the party.

CAs reckon that advocates, who have made their mark as party spokespersons, enjoy a lot of clout. There are hardly any CAs like Rameshwar Thakur, Suresh Prabhu and NKP Salve who have attained influential positions in Congress circles, which stands in sharp contrast to a large number of political leaders with legal background. It may be mentioned here that lawyers are not yet covered under the service tax net whereas CAs are.

Commenting on CAs joining politics, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) president Sunil Talati said:
CAs need to have strong presence in the politics to play a larger role in nation-building. We hardly have any political leaders who can comprehend the crucial industry-related draft bills before they are tabled for debate and approval. CAs are already working on several critical issues pertaining to various trade, commerce and industry, in association with states and the central government, and I strongly feel for our representation in politics, too.

It may be mentioned here that the ICAI has taken initiatives to improve the presentation skills of its members to compete with management graduates. It is also lobbying hard for common accounting standards to attract international clientele. In coming days, we might witness CAs becoming even more aggressive to take on lawyers in the political arena.
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