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BCAS President CA Mihir Sheth’s Message for the Month of December 2022

It is said that life is such a mystery that nothing significant happens for a year and suddenly a year happens in a month. Perhaps the current times are the harbinger of this truth. There are many exciting events happening and I will be failing in my duty if I overlook their significance and implications.

Goals! Goals! Goals! The World Cup football fever is on! Players have been trained and pumped up to give their best, to excel, to have nothing else in mind but to win against all odds to bring glory to their motherland. This spirit is something which completely overwhelms even the spectator with a motivation to excel. I believe as professionals, we will need to strive in a similar spirit to give our best to the profession and aim to create a world class professional community and firms as envisaged by our Prime Minister.

The recently concluded 21st World Congress of Accountants also achieved several notable goals. In its history stretching over 118 years, it was held for the first time in India and attracted a record 10,000 delegates from over 100 countries, who received priceless insights from 150+ thought leaders over 40 sessions. Delegates had the unique opportunity to explore new industry trends and business ideas, as well as network with global experts. One of the most incredible goals achieved was that this entire event was carbon neutral…in line with its theme of “Building Trust, Enabling Sustainability”. I must add that the BCAS President was received by the President of the ICAI, the host with great warmth and respect he has for the institution.

India scored a very tricky goal in Bali, where it got the final declaration of the G20 adopted by consensus. India will have its hands full as it assumes the presidency of the G20 from December 2022. ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – One Earth, One Family, One Future’, India’s theme for G20 is highly relevant in today’s troubled world that has been fractured by near-sighted political and economic policies. The G20 is a powerful platform of the world’s major developed and developing economies, accounting for 85% of the global GDP, 75% of international trade and 67% of the world’s population.

November has been an eventful month. In the COP27, the UN Climate summit India informed the world that it has proactively undertaken “far-reaching new initiatives in renewable energy, e-mobility, and ethanol blended fuels and green hydrogen as an alternate energy source.” All this, despite the stark reality that India’s contribution to the world’s cumulative emissions is less than 4% and its annual per capita emissions are only one-third the global average. It also called for the acceleration of development, deployment and dissemination of technologies, transition towards low-emission energy systems, and scaling up deployment of clean power generation. COP27 aggressively pushed for development banks to provide more climate finance without forcing developing countries deeper into debt.

I believe that these initiatives will bring a lot of professional opportunities for us to operate at a global level, and to share the knowledge gained through this experience.

And in the arena of tax collection, it is a clear case of records being broken as goals are achieved. In October, GST collections spiralled 16.6% to Rs. 1,51,718 crore – the second highest collection, since this indirect tax was implemented in 2017. Direct Tax collections up to 10th November have surged 30.69% higher over last year to settle at Rs. 10.54 crore. These are critical benchmarks that aptly reflect the remarkable bounce back and flourishing of the economy. The government is not resting on these milestone tax collections…it has unveiled a draft of a new form for filing income tax returns. It is designed to end confusion about form selection and will ease the process and cut time to file returns. With a burgeoning economy and simplified process, tax collections are poised to climb even higher.

“India has become the shining star in a world embroiled in war and stunted by inflation. India has proven its prowess “From almost negligible numbers a few years back, today we’ve over 77,000 start-ups in India, with 108 having unicorn status. India’s talent pool is like no other country’s as 50% population is below 25 years…In 2009, 17% of people in India had bank accounts; 15% used digital payments; 4% had a unique ID document. Today, around 80% have bank accounts; 80% use digital payments; 99% have unique IDs. All these in a country of 1.4 bn people…” India was a $270 billion economy 25 years ago and closed 2021 at around 3.2 trillion, which translates to 11x growth. Projections are that by 2047 India would be a $ 50 trillion economy. With such spectacular credentials and opportunities ahead, the field is vast and open for all of us, to skyrocket our growth… and exceed our goals! Clearly, India is soaring higher and higher, and the world is noticing it.

The recent appointment of Hon. Chief Justice Dhananjaya Chandrachud to the Supreme Court of India brings back memories of his visit to the BCAS venue to deliver valedictory address at the conclusion of the first batch of the study course on Arbitration, Conciliation and Mediation in 2004. With great erudition he had then emphasized the importance of the course. Considering the ever increasing volume of the pending cases in the court, his foresight could not be overemphasized. We hope that his great insight and experience helps to bring many awaited judicial reforms for speedy delivery of justice by appointment of judges to the vacant position, improvement in the administration and encouraging parallel judicial machinery by way of Arbitration, Conciliation and Mediation.

BCAS was visited by the UK Director of the Institute of Risk Management (IRM) to explore ways in which the alliance forged to create awareness about emerging opportunities in the field of Risk Management can be fast tracked. He was felicitated by the President along with the members of the Internal Audit committee. Both sides had fruitful discussion to cement the ties for a long term.

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BCAS organized a number of interesting events in the month of November that included a Webinar on the “Recent SC decision laying down the law on charitable trusts’ exemption, LM on Decoding Global Financial Markets and Changes in Regulations – Overseas Direct Investment, Workshop on Income Tax Issues on account of Redevelopment of Immovable Properties, Lecture Meeting on Growth Based Investing’, Seminar on Business Restructuring and Workshop on Macros Recording for GST Compliances apart from regular study circle meetings. These were all well received by the participants.

There are equally interesting events happening in December. To name a few, there is a Lecture Meeting on Value in the Metaverse and Why Metaverse is Inevitable, Workshop on Penalties under Income Tax Act 1961, Enterprise Risk Management ERM 101 Play & Experience ERM with IRM’s Scenario Planning Workshop, 23rd Study Course on DTAA apart from some interesting HRD events which will be announced soon.
Booking for coveted RRC to be held in February at Coimbatore is in full swing and I request you to book your seat as soon as possible to avoid disappointment later.

Before I sign off let me send my warm greetings for the upcoming Christmas festival…Merry Christmas!

Good bye for now, till we meet again.

Thank You!

With Best Regards,

CA Mihir Sheth

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