President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday said the Indian economy is set for a surge with the GDP (gross domestic product) size expected to double to $5 trillion probably by 2025.
He was speaking after launching the platinum jubilee celebrations of chartered accountants’ apex body ICAI. “The Indian economy is set for a surge and in the next decade, probably even by 2025, India is expected to double the size of the GDP to $5 trillion,” Kovind said.
The president said adherence to a fair taxation system is much more than merely providing revenue to the government, which is part of the same social contract that underpins the Constitution.
“Under this Constitution, we have given ourselves certain rights but also certain responsibilities. Taxes are what we pay to get social benefits in the form of public goods and services, health and education facilities, better infrastructure, law and order, and secure borders.
“It is crucial that this responsibility is shared by the widest possible number of citizens – whether they pay taxes directly or indirectly. It is the solemn duty of each one of us to contribute to the society that we share and the nation that we are part of,” he noted.
Noting that chartered accountants have a key role in advancing such a culture, Kovind said they are facilitators of taxpayers and of the taxation system as well as watchdogs of public trust.
Emphasising that chartered accountants are watchdogs of public trust, the president said when white-collar crimes happen, it would be relevant to ask if those responsible for auditing balance sheets have truly done their duty.
Amid rising instances of white-collar crimes and banking frauds, he said there is a fine line between intelligent tax planning, tax dodging and tax evasion, and chartered accountants are the custodians of that fine line. Kovind also said white-collar crimes don’t leave behind a smoking gun, but broken hearts and a shaken confidence.
Speaking on the occasion, minister of state for corporate affairs PP Chaudhary mentioned about prime minister Narendra Modi’s speech on July 1 last year, where he had described chartered accountants as doctors responsible for the economic health and well being of the society.
“He had also said our chartered accountants are known all over the world for their excellent financial skills.
“While mentioning various steps taken by the Union government against the black money, he had urged the chartered accountants to introspect and weed out corrupt practices from their fraternity. He had also urged the chartered accountants to advise their clients to follow the path of honesty,” the minister said. The prime minister’s words continue to be true even to this day, Chaudhary said.
According to Chaudhary, the government’s fight against black money is continuing and that around 2.25 lakh suspected shell companies have been identified. These entities are being analysed and suitable action would be taken, he added.
Minister of state for communications Manoj Sinha said frauds in banks and people involved in setting up of shell companies need to be dealt with sternly.
On a personal note, the minister said he sometimes feels that there is a need for the ICAI to work towards getting rid of those elements that have strayed away from the principles of the institution.
ICAI president Naveen ND Gupta said the world congress of accountants would be held in India in 2022.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has more than 2.80 lakh members. A commemorative postal stamp showcasing 70 year of ICAI in service to nation was released on Sunday. The ICAI would be awarding special scholarship to meritorious wards of armed forces, para-military forces and railway personnel.