President’s Communication : May & June 2020

President’s Communication : May & June 2020

Dear Fellow Members and colleagues 

Assalamualaikum and greetings to you al,

At the very beginning I pray to Almighty Allah for everyone’s good health and mental well beings. In this time of uncertainity, we need support of one another more than ever. The COVID 19 Pandemic has affected so many us in a multitude of ways; hospitals are overwhelmed, and the economy appears to be heading for a worst recession.

 

Now after two months’ country wide shutdown, the Institute resumed its offices in May in limited scale in line with government’s instructions. From that very moment, we are constantly pursuing our desired goals.

 

Besides regular online committee meetings, we held a number of events related to National Budget which went quite well. We also held a number of CPD (Members’ Conference) through digital platform within a gap of less than a month. The response of the members was more than what we expected. More than 700 members in each sessions participated with zeal and enthusiasm. Members were at ease and no doubt learnt a lot as they threw a good number of questions to the paper presenter. It took some time though to sort out IT problems at initial sessions. This was cost effective, largely participatory and offered efficient time management, no doubt.

 

Now having said so let me update you with the activities of the Institute during May- June 2010.

 

After the announcement of National Budget 2020, ICAB’s immediate reaction on the Budget was published in national dailies with due importance on 12 June 2020.  We congratulated the Government for announcing the budget equivalent of 17.9% of GDP amounting to Taka 5,68,000 crores which is a response to the panic and uncertainty caused by COVID 19. We gave our specific comments on VAT & Tax policies and provisions. We appreciated saying that the proposed budget of FY 2020-21 has prioritised health, agriculture, social safety net and job creation aiming to mitigate current pandemic. Undoubtedly, revenue targeted Taka 3,78,000 crores will be difficult to collect due to the negative impacts of current pandemic on trade, commerce, industries, import, export and services. However, we should remain optimistic considering the veracity of the situation.

 

With a hastening move we arranged virtual Press Conference on ‘Post national budget 2020’ through virtual platform on 13 June 2020, where as many as 30 journalists of printing and electronic media participated. Opening remarks was delivered by me and the key points were read on announced national budget. Mr. Md Humayun Kabir FCA, Chairman, TCLC moderated the session. Council Members Md. Shahadat Hossain FCA, Mr. Mohammed Forkan Uddin FCA and the fellow member Mr. Snehasish Barua FCA also spoke and shared their view points.

 

We responded questions raised by journalists and reporters from media and it was a highly interactive and lively session. We thank the Press and Publication section as the conference got huge media coverage in main stream newspapers and electronic media of the country.

 

The event subsequently followed “ICAB-The Business Standard Virtual Post-Budget Discussion 2020. This was joint initiative by ICAB and the English daily through Zoom video conferencing on June 14, 2020 where Planning Minister Mr. MA Mannan, MP was the chief guest.. Country’s renowned economists, businessmen and professionals also participated in the session side by side our CA experts.  A brief overview on the budget was given by me in the introductory speech while Council Member & Past President  Mr. Md. Humayun Kabir FCA moderated the session. Council Member  Mr. Md. Shahadat Hossain FCA and  Fellow Member  Mr. Snehasish Barua FCA jointly presented the key note paper.

 

ICAB organized the Virtual Members’ conference through Zoom Video conferencing on Finanace Bill and Proposed National Budget 2020-21 on 18 June 2020 where Mr. Md. Alamgir Hossain, Member (Tax Policy), Mr. Ranjan Kumar Bhowmik, Member ( Tax Survey and Inspection) and Mr. Md. Masud Sadik, Member (VAT Policy) of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) attended as Special Guests. ICAB Council Member and Past President Md. Humayun Kabir FCA moderated the session while address of welcome was delivered by me. Mr. Md. Shahadat Hossain FCA, Council Member-ICAB and Mr. Snehasish Barua FCA, Partner, Snehasish Mahmud & Co, jointly presented the keynote paper. The members of the NBR exchanged their views on the budget and the Finance Bill 2020. They expressed their assertiveness on many of the suggestions emanated from the discussion.

 

At the backdrop of COVID 19 pandemic, ICAB organized a Virtual Members’ Conference on ‘COVID 19 Impacts on Financial Reporting and Audit’ on 20 June 2020 through digital platform where Mr. Muhammed Farhad Hussain FCA, Past President-ICAB  was present as the Chief Guest Mr. Nasir Uddin Ahmed FCA, Member Council and Past President of ICAB acted as the session chairman while Mr. Sabbir Ahmed FCA, Vice President-ICAB presented the keynote paper. Address of welcome was delivered by me. Vice Presidents, Members Councils, Past Presidents and Fellow Members of the Institute actively participated in the conference.

 

RCOMCC of ICAB held a virtual discussion meeting with North American Chapter (NAC) through zoom video conferencing on 27 June 2020. Chairman of RCOMCC and Council Member Mr. Mahamud Hosain FCA led the discussion. A wide range of issues like creation of email ID in ICAB domain for Chairman and Secretary of ICAB NAC, registration of ICAB NAC in Toronto, Canada, opening of a Bank Account for ICAB NAC in Canada, timing of an ICAB CPD through virtual platform, creating a dedicated ‘Service Desk’ for all ICAB Regional Committees and Overseas Chapters members were sorted out.

 

Dear fellow colleagues, we have made an understanding with the Japan East West Medical College Hospital, Turag in addition to earlier announced Anwar Khan Modern Hospital, Dhanmondi where members and their families, relatives can have COVID 19 Test on priority basis. Members Service of the institute is working to assist members in this difficult time. We further stand ready to render support to our members within our capacity.

 

Dear comrades, we are deeply moved by the sudden demise of our 3 CA friends amid this pandemic who could contribute more to the profession and the country. My prayer and deep condolences to those bereaved families. I also pray for others who have lost their close relatives and friends due to this pandemic. 

 

No doubt, we are feeling shock, denial, or even deep grief and despair right now due to sudden disruption and changing landscape. However, it is important that we remain resolute to our objectives despite eventualities. Rather than being afraid of change or avoiding it, we should try to adjust and view change as an opportunity to excel. Embracing and establishing ‘New Normal’ in all spheres of lives may be the key to our success as individually and collectively in the days ahead.

 

With these, I would like to wrap up today. We pray to Almighty for His divine blessings to protect us from this pandemic. We pray for everyone’s good health and well beings, once again.

 

With best wishes to you and all your loved ones.

 

 Muhammad Farooq FCA 

President

Update Date : 19/07/2020

President’s Communication : March-April 2020​

Dear Fellow Members and colleagues,as COVID 19 cases continue to mount across Bangladesh, it has become imperative that we maintain social distancing and stay safe at home. Undoubtedly, the whole world is confronted with uncertainties that did not exist before in such scale. Bangladeshis is not new to disasters or major humanitarian crises.  The COVID 19 pandemic, however, is a crises of a completely different magnitude and we all are affected individually and collectively. It is at this backdrop, I am writing to you in our News Bulletin to let you know how we are mitigating the circumstances that we are in.

 

With the nationwide shutdown, the Institute have remained closed over a prolong period. We do not exactly know as to when we would be able to resume our normal office functions. This has created both functional and financial impediments for us at various ends.

 

To respond to urgency, a number of discussion meetings were held online through web conferencing which included discussion meeting of the Council members as well as other committees’ meetings. According to the decision, some important official letters were prepared and sent electronically to various authorities to address our concerns. I shall highlight them in the succeeding paragraphs.

 

ICAB came up with a guideline for all its members on  how to address in the preparation and audit of financial statements. The detail guidelines were prepared by the technical and research committee of ICAB. Electronically, the guidelines were sent to all members.  On 18 April, electronically, letters were sent to Regulatory Authorities including FRC, BSEC, IDRA and MRA regarding those of ICAB's efforts to assist the members of ICAB addressing the impact of COVID-19 outbreak in Financial Reporting and Auditing.

 

COVID 19 has caused disruptions to global trade, business, and education. Bangladesh is equally affected by this contagion. Our CA firms is also having the impact felt in manifold. The Institute have taken initiatives to address the concern; letters were sent to Hon’ble Finance Minister, Hon’ble Commerce Minister, Governor Bangladesh Bank, Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and  Banking Division, Ministry of Finance for seeking Financial stimuli for CA Professionals as well as CA Firms.

 

On 21 April Dhaka Regional Committee (DRC), ICAB sent a circular regarding Telemedicine Service to all members to respond to the situation emerged from COVID-19 pandemic as the services from public/private hospitals became tough to avail.  A list of contact numbers of the physicians was attached with the circular. A formal arrangement is also made with the Universal Medical Hospital,  Dhaka for the treatment of sick members and their dependents including COVID 19 sickness.

 

To keep the activities ongoing as much as possible amidst this pandemic, I convened meetings with the senior officials of ICAB at regular intervals,  and we held a good number of meetings and made discussion on ICAB’s activities through video conferencing. Now I would like to go over the activities sequentially.

 

We conducted meeting on 02 April 2020, to discuss on holding  Exam of May-June 2020 Session andother administrative and technical matters.

 

I conducted a MANCOM Meeting with ICAB senior Management Team on 05 April 2020 at 12:00PM through Video Conferencing to review on going activities and projects, Online CPD for Members, Preparing sector wise members list for recognizing the employers, etc. We discussed as to how we can carryout official functions without jeopardizing health and safety issues.

 

On 9 April 2020, a discussion session of Council-ICAB was held through video conferencing regarding correspondence to include CA Firms and Accounting Profession as affected sector because of COVID-19 outbreak and to bring to the attention of Govt. in stimuli Package.

 

On 13 April 2020, Secretary & CEO, ICAB wrote a letter to Chairman NBR requesting for the time extension of submitting Annual Returns of Firms and waivering penalty for the delayed submission.

 

On 15 April 2020, Circular regarding” Impact of COVID-19 Outbreak on Financial Reporting and Auditing in Bangladesh“ was disseminated among the members.

 

On 16 April 2020, we wrote letters to Ministries and other concerned for financial stimuli for CA Professional and CA Firms.

 

On 18 April 2020, we wrote letters to Regulatory Authorities including FRC,  BSEC, IDRA  and MRA regarding ICAB’s efforts to assist the members of ICAB addressing the impact of COVID-19 outbreak in Financial Reporting and Auditing & shared the paper titled ‘Potential Impact of Corona Virus (COVID-19) Outbreak on Financial Reporting and Auditing in Bangladesh’.

 

On 21 April 2020, Telemedicine Service was arranged by DRC-ICAB for seeking medical advices for our members. A list of physicians and their contact numbers was given in the  circular sent to all  members.

 

On 28 April 2020, a virtual meeting with exam committees was conducted  and we discussed  the tentative Time schedule of CA Exam May-June Session 2020 and conducting Online Classes for CA Students ahead of Exam.  Vice Presidents Mr. Sidhartha Barua FCA, Mr. Sabbir Ahmed FCA, and Mohammed Forkan Uddin FCA, Council Member Mr. Gopal Chandra Ghosh FCA, Secretary & CEO-ICAB  and other  concerned  ICAB officials participated in the session.

 

Now, I would like to recall some of the activities that we undertook prior to post Corona situation. On 04 March 2020, a workshop on ‘Practical Demonstration of Audit Materiality, Journal Entry Testing, Audit Sampling and Opening Balances’ was held at ICAB. Practicing members and directors, senior managers of CA firms participated in the workshop.  Mr. Ali Amjad Choudhury FCA, Partner, Howladar Yunus & Co., Chartered Accountants was the resource person. I thank all of them for their efforts.

 

On 15 March 2020 a   members’ conference on ‘Income Tax Policy Paper on the upcoming Amendment of Income Tax Ordinance 1984’ was held at ICAB auditorium. Mr. Abu Hena Md. Rahmatul Muneem, Senior Secretary, Internal Resources Division (IRD) & Chairman, National Board of Revenue (NBR) was the chief guest while Ms. Nahar Ferdousi Begum, Member (Taxes Legal & Enforcement) and Mr. Ranjan Kumar Bhowmik, Member (Tax Survey & Inspection) were present as special guests. I delivered address of welcome while Mr. Mohammad Al Maruf Khan FCA, Partner, Howladar Yunus & Co., Chartered Accountants and Mr. Snehasish Barua FCA, Partner, Snehasish Mahmud & Co., Chartered Accountants presented  the Key Note paper. Mr Md. Humayun Kabir FCA, Past President and Council Member moderated the session. Policy paper delivered was the hard work of the sub Committee for about 3 months. Undoubtedly,  they all deserved high appreciation.

 

With these,  I would like to wrap up today. We pray to Almighty for His divine blessings in this month of Holy Ramadan. We pray for everyone’s good health free from this epidemic. May we all resume our normal activities sooner. We look forward having a safer tomorrow. With best wishes to you and all your loved ones.

 

 Muhammad Farooq FCA 

President

Update Date : 09/05/2020

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