Modi urges chartered accountants to help unearth black money in the economy
On the day India adopted the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned the community of chartered accountants (CAs) against helping companies in evading taxes. He urged them to help in the economic growth of the country.
Speaking at a gathering of thousands on the eve of the foundation day of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Modi said that CAs were an important pillar of the Indian economy, and they must avoid being on the side of corrupt companies.
Talking about his government's efforts to curb black money in the country, Modi also his government had de-registered over one lakh companies on suspicion of indulging in illegal and corrupt practices over the years.
He also informed the gathering of CAs that his government had identified more than 38,000 shell companies that were used as a vehicle to park or transfer black money to foreign countries.
Advice to CAs
Reiterating the tendency of tax evation among Indians, Modi said it is disheartening that only 32 lakh Indians have declared over Rs 10 lakh income, despite crores of people being high-end professionsals like CAs, doctors and engineers.
“When my government announced demonetisation in November last year, all the CAs cancelled their vacations to work for their clients. They worked post-midnight. I do not know whether they worked for the nation or their clients,” said Modi, indicating that his government would take action against those professionals who had helped corrupt companies hide their black money.
Warning that the process of data mining post-demonetisation had not ended, the PM said that the government had yet to take any action against the culprits who were involved in tax evasion.
The government, in November 2016, had demonetised 86% of the currency in circulation, and forced the whole country to deposit the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes back in banks.
In the process, everyone was required to give account of the money that was deposited in the banks. Even though the government is yet to come out with the total amount that was deposited back in the banking system, it has been claiming that it had identified accounts that had received deposits of unaccounted wealth from depositors.
Modi also rued the fact that no audit firm from India was part of the internationally-acclaimed big four agencies in the world, namely PwC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG. He urged the community of CAs to overtake the current big four by 2022, by establishing their name for authenticity and reliability in the field of company accounts auditing.