Below the Line – The Hindu BusinessLine

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Rubber stamp over two folders with the text financial statements, accounting records and the word audit. Concept of financial auditing. 3D illustration.

Rubber stamp over two folders with the text financial statements, accounting records and the word audit. Concept of financial auditing. 3D illustration. | Photo Credit: Olivier Le Moal

No deferring CARO

There is some chatter in audit circles that CARO 2020 — set to get implemented from FY 2022-23 — is quite onerous for both the audit community and the corporates to comply with and. therefore. a need to defer its implementation. However, the CA Institute is not buying this argument.

CARO is the amended audit report format for statutory audits of companies covered under the Companies Act. Implementation of CARO 2020 was deferred for FY 2021-22 owing to Covid-19 contingencies. So when a hack quizzed the new ICAI President Debashis Mitra on whether the ICAI will recommend its deferment for one more year, pat came the reply from Mitra — “Never, never!”

“I know CARO is very complex. But I do not want the Institute to be known as Institute of Extension of India,” he said.

Life and death matters

Quoting a line from RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das’ February 10 statement that went: “As the great Lata Mangeshkar — whom we lost recently — sang in her immortal voice: ‘ Aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai…’, veteran banker Uday Kotak recently drew Das’ attention to the second line of the song, “ Aaj phir marne kaa eraadaa hai.”

On behalf of the assembled industrialists and policymakers at a CII meeting on March 21, Kotak asked the Governor “which of these two lines you think we should be thinking at this point of time?” The Governor logically reasoned: “I think, both the lines mean the same thing. One is explicit and the other one is implicit. The first line ‘ jeene ki tamanna’ is very explicit. The second line ‘ marne kaa eraadaa’ is because she is so happy that she doesn’t care if she dies, so, there you know the optimism is implicit.”

This quick-witted reply drew applause from Kotak and other CII members. In his vote of thanks, Sanjiv Bajaj, President-Designate, CII, said: “…Finally, as for Indian industry, I would like to say “ jeene ki tamanna hai, marne kaa eraadaa nahin hai!”

Kissa Kursi ka

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, chairing a meeting of wheat exports organised by the Food Ministry, surprised many in the political circles and trade. Invites for the meeting were sent to various ministries — Agriculture, Commerce, Roadways, Shipping and Railways. Surprisingly, no invitation was extended to Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.

People close to him complained of the invitation not being extended. A bird from the Capital wonders if this is because rumours are agog that Tomar will replace Chouhan as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister before the monsoon sets in! So, where will Chouhan head — to Delhi as Minister of Agriculture? It’s anyone’s guess.

Rupee in Sri Lanka?

Recently, the Sri Lankan Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa met Indian officials in New Delhi with regard to the forex crisis the island-nation is facing. India has agreed to extend $1 billion line of credit to Colombo. More importantly, the Lankan Finance Minister was offered the freedom to use the Indian rupee back home. This means, the island-nation will become like Nepal and Bhutan where the rupee is being used without any hesitation.

Slow motion

Three days after the Tamil Nadu Budget, a brown cover from the works manager of the Tamil Nadu Government Central Press landed on an Editor’s table. The contents inside left him surprised and amused. There were two books related to the Budget — not the one that was tabled by the DMK government in the State Assembly on March 18 but the Interim Budget 2021-2022 presented by the AIADMK Government in February 23, 2021 just ahead of the Assembly elections.

If it has taken more than a year for them to send the documents to the media, it is anybody’s guess when the latest Budget papers will come considering that one more Budget was presented in between by the DMK Government immediately after it came to power last year.

‘Supari’ from Gulf

At a time when ‘ aatmanirbhar’ (self-reliance) is gaining momentum in the country, the stakeholders in the arecanut sector got news that they did not expect. The country, which produces more than 15 lakh tonnes of arecanut and which is ‘ aatmanirbhar’ in meeting the domestic consumption, has been importing it from the countries where it is not grown.

Expressing surprise and concern over the import of arecanut from the UAE and Singapore, some stakeholders in the sector said this is an alarming and dangerous trend for the domestic growers. Though the country has imposed stringent measures to control the import of arecanut, the import figures for 2021-22 presented in Lok Sabha showed India importing arecanut valued ₹14.73 crore from the UAE and Singapore. “We had heard that UAE grows dates, we did not know that it also ‘grows’ arecanut,” said a stakeholder sarcastically, adding the UAE and Singapore do not grow arecanut.

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Published on March 27, 2022


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