Prez expresses anxiety over bank frauds & white collar crimes

New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday expressed his anxiety over white collar crimes and banking scandals involving business tycoons and said when such episodes occur, it would be imperative to question whether those responsible for auditing balance sheets have truly done their duty.

As professionals, it is your legitimate right to advise your clients on tax planning. However, there is a fine line between intelligent tax planning, tax dodging and tax evasion. Chartered accountants are custodians of that fine line  Ram Nath Kovind, President of India 

Launching the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) here, the President said, when banking scandals take place, when large borrowers abscond and leave their banks in the lurch, it represents a breach of faith. “…it amounts to a betrayal of not only corporate ethics but of honest fellow citizens and of the collective value system,” he said.

“White collar crimes don’t leave behind a smoking gun; they leave behind broken hearts and a shaken confidence,” Kovind said adding “when such episodes occur, it would be in order to introspect and it would be relevant to ask if those responsible for auditing balance sheets have truly done their duty or if they have contributed to the sorry situation”.

He said adherence to a fair taxation system is much more than merely providing revenue to the government and it is part of the same social contract that underpins the Constitution.

The introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) has not been a standalone move, the President said.

Breach of faith

When banking scandals take place, large borrowers abscond and leave their banks in the lurch or as in the Satyam case, where promoters themselves embezzled funds, it represents a breach of faith, Kovind said.