Today in Lok Sabha, the Chartered Accountants, the Cost and Works Accountants and the Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was taken up for discussion. The Bill seeks to strengthen the disciplinary mechanism under these Acts, and provide for time bound disposal of cases against members of these professions. The Bill was examined by the Standing Committee on Finance which has submitted its report.
Speaking on the proposed amendments, a member said that while stronger penalties and punishment will act as a deterrent, it may also dissuade CA professionals from joining together to form bigger audit firms that can match the scale and size of international firms. Another Member, noting that the Bill increases the number of government nominees in the disciplinary committee, raised concern over interference by the government in the autonomous bodies. The discussion did not conclude.
In Rajya Sabha, discussion resumed on the Finance and Appropriation Bills. Both Bills were passed following the Finance Minister's response to the discussion. With this, the Budget process has come to a close. The House then took up discussion on the Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2022, in relation with Jharkhand. The discussion did not conclude.
Earlier in the day, in Rajya Sabha a Member raised concern about the compliance burden on businesses. The Member pointed out that half of the 1,536 laws for doing business in India carry imprisonment clauses. He emphasised that if India were to achieve its target $5 trillion economy, the regulatory changes must be made. 16 Members of the House associated themselves with the issue.
Numbers to note
Noting that 36% of persons with disabilities are employed as workers, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment informed Lok Sabha that the National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFD) channelizes concessional loans to persons with disabilities (PwDs). 11,335 beneficiaries were covered in 2021-22. In 2014-15, there were 14,703 beneficiaries and 18,326 beneficiaries in 2020-21.