New Delhi: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday pitched for exchange of information among countries to curb economic frauds as well as efforts for speedy extradition of economic offenders.
His remarks come against the backdrop of Indian authorities working to bring back various economic offenders who have fled the country.
Speaking at the 70th annual day celebrations of chartered accountants' apex body ICAI, Naidu emphasised the need for the highest ethical standards and that chartered accountants should also help avoid recurrence of frauds.
He said that all nations must come forward to automatically exchange information on economic frauds and speedy extradition of economic offenders. "Sometimes, I wonder how countries are allowing people to park money which is ill gotten. "... economic frauds should be arrested and each country should cooperate with other countries to see that information sought by another country is given them to automatically without any delay," Naidu said.
He also made a veiled reference about fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya.
"You looted the system, you evaded the law and you go somewhere and compare your own mother country which was responsible for your growth. You come and face here the law. Why are you worried about going to jail?" he said.
Noting that it sometimes takes months and years to sign an extradition treaty, Naidu said if an economic fugitive extradition treaty, then that means there is something to hide.
Talking about chartered accountants, he said the nation looks up to them with great hope that they would not be only able to detect and report frauds but also bring ways to avoid recurrence of such activities.
Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas said tough questions, including about the independence of auditors, needs to be looked at and stressed on the need for strong ethics.
Srinivas also flagged concerns about lot of concentration of business among few audit firms.
"Is there excessive concentration or lack of competition," he said in reference to audit firms.
If there is such a situation in a market economy then it is a concern. Excessive dominance is a challenge, he added. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has nearly 10 lakh students and members. There are more than 2.93 lakh members.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said hardworking fraternity of chartered accountants has been furthering the culture of honesty and better corporate governance in the society.
Chartered accountants also play a key role in advancing economic prosperity, he said in a tweet. "Today, on CA Day, my best wishes to all CAs for their future endeavours," Modi said. The ICAI is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament.