The webinar organised by NCAER is part of the Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF) Chair Unit’s webinar series. NCAER established the IEPF Chair Unit in 2020, with funding from the Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority, Ministry of Corporate Affairs. NCAER’s IEPF Chair Unit conducts research on contemporary issues related to investor education and protection, and an analysis of related economic and regulatory issues.
Recently a government-appointed committee to review the quality of audits has recommended that the powers of the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) be enlarged. It should cover much more than investigating misconduct by auditors and company managements. If the committee has its way, the NFRA will be able to seek information from promoters, directors, and executives in the course of investigation into the conduct of auditors. Financial statements certified by chartered accountant are the very bedrock on which everything else is based, whether it is investment decisions by retail investors and mutual funds or lending decisions by banks. Consequently, anything that improves the quality and integrity of these statements is a shot for retail investors.
What does all this mean for investor protection? How can the NFRA deliver on its promise? To discuss this and more, NCAER along with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, under the aegis of the ministry-funded Investor Protection and Education Chair at the NCAER, organised a webinar on this subject. The panel of experts invited for the discussion were; Amarjit Chopra, former head of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and member of the Expert Committee; Pradeep Ramakrishnan, General Manager, Securities and Exchange Board of India and Hemindra Hazari, Independent Analyst. The discussion was moderated by Mythili Bhusnurmath, Senior Adviser, NCAER.
Amarjit Chopra is a Chartered Accountant with more than 46 years of professional experience. He is a senior partner in GSA & Associates LLP, New Delhi. He was elected to Central Council of ICAI for five terms of three years each consecutively from 1998 to 2013 and also served as its Vice President and President. He served the Northern India Regional Council (NIRC) of ICAI for two terms and was its Chairman for the year 1988-89. He completed his Ph. D. from Apex University.
Hemindra Hazari is a Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) registered independent research analyst with over 25 years’ experience in the Indian capital markets. He has specialized in banking and the macro-economy. He holds a Master’s Degree in International Studies from the University of South Carolina, USA and a Bachelors in Economics from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.
Pradeep Ramakrishnan is General Manager, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). He joined SEBI in the year 2002 and worked in the Compliance and monitoring division. He is presently at the Department of Debt and Hybrid Securities at SEBI. Previously, he has worked with Madras Fertilizers Limited and Kothari Petrochemicals Limited. He is a commerce graduate and a qualified Company Secretary.
Mythili Bhusnurmath is Senior Adviser, NCAER, and Consulting Editor, ET Now TV. She holds a Master’s in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics and is a Certified Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers. She also holds a law degree from Delhi University.