Cabinet Decisons Current Affairs - 2019

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India-Myanmar MoU on bilateral cooperation for Prevention of Trafficking in Persons

Union Cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Myanmar on bilateral cooperation for Prevention of Trafficking in Persons; Rescue, Recovery, Repatriation and Re-integration of victims of Trafficking. The cabinet was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Key Highlights of MoU

Objective:

  • To increase bilateral cooperation on the issues of prevention, rescue, recovery and repatriation related to victims of human Trafficking as well as to strengthen friendship bonds between India-Myanmar
  • To strengthen cooperation for preventing all forms of human trafficking and protecting and assisting victims of trafficking.

Provisions:

Prevent trafficking in persons by strengthening immigration and border controls cooperation and implementation of strategies with relevant Ministries and Organizations of both the countries.

Set up Working Groups or Task Force to make efforts to prevent human trafficking as well as undertake Capacity building programmes for the agencies concerned of both countries.

Developing and sharing database on traffickers and victims of trafficking in a safe and confidential manner and exchanging information via designated focal points of India and Myanmar.

Formulating and adopting Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Rescue, Recovery, Repatriation and Integration of the victims of trafficking and at the same time ensuring speedy investigation and prosecution of traffickers and organized crime syndicates in either country.

Background

Human Trafficking has national and international consequence therefore its complex nature calls for a multidimensional strategy in tackling it at both domestic/regional/international level. Being global in scope, international cooperation and collaboration is essential to check trafficking in persons.

Moreover, strengthening cooperation between India’s and Myanmar’s border control agencies as well as establishing direct channels of communication can be an effective tool in countering trafficking in persons and promoting cross-border and regional cooperation.

Cabinet approves establishment of National Financial Reporting Authority

The Union Cabinet approved establishment of National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) as an independent regulator for the auditing profession. It aims to tighten regulatory oversight over auditors and plug loopholes. It will be independent from those it regulates for enforcement of auditing standards and ensuring quality of audits.

National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA)

NFRA will independent regulator under Companies Act, 2013. Its mandate is for establishment and enforcement of accounting and auditing standards and oversight of work of auditors. It will ensure quality of audits to strengthen independence of audit firms and therefore, enhance investor and public confidence in financial disclosures of companies.

Composition: NFRA will be 15 members body, consisting of Chairperson, three full-time Members and one Secretary.

Functions: It will overarching watchdog for auditing profession. It can debar an erring auditor or auditing firm for up to 10 years besides it can also slap heavy penalties. Even powers of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to act against erring chartered accountants will be vested with NFRA.

Jurisdiction: It extends investigation of Chartered Accountants and their firms to all listed companies as well as large unlisted public companies. Government will prescribe thresholds in the rules. Government can also refer other entities for investigation where public interest is involved. However, inherent regulatory role of existing ICAI will continue in respect of its members and specifically to audits pertaining to private limited companies and public unlisted companies below threshold limit notified in rules. Further, ICAI will continue to play its advisory role with respect to accounting and auditing standards and policies by making its recommendations to NFRA.

Impact: Establishment of NFRA will improve foreign/domestic investments, enhance of economic growth, support globalisation of business by meeting international practices and assist in further development of audit profession.

NFRA and Quality Review Board (QRB): QRB will continue its quality audit in respect of private limited companies, public unlisted companies below prescribed threshold and also with respect to audit of companies delegated by NFRA.

Background

The need for establishing NFRA was in wake of accounting scams and to establish independent regulator independent from those it regulates for enforcement of auditing standards. Its establishment is in line with key changes brought in by the Companies Act, 2013 which was on specific recommendations of Standing Committee on Finance (in its 21st report).