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FM Nirmala Sitharaman urges ICAI to set up 'Big 4'- like Indian Firm

Last updated: 23 May 2024

In a dynamic call to action, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday urged the Bihar chapter of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to spearhead the creation of a formidable Indian auditing firm. This firm, she envisages, should aspire to join the ranks of the globally renowned Big Four and attract international clients.

During an engaging interaction with the ICAI in Patna, Sitharaman emphasized the importance of setting ambitious goals as part of their 100-day agenda aimed at realizing the vision of Viksit Bharat by 2047. She stressed that Bihar has the potential to demonstrate significant leadership and innovation in the field of accounting.

FM Nirmala Sitharaman urges ICAI to set up  Big 4 - like Indian Firm

"You should establish a CA firm strong enough to be reckoned as a top four company. What stops us from doing it?" Sitharaman challenged, highlighting the prowess and potential of Indian Chartered Accountants who are highly respected worldwide.

Currently, Deloitte, EY, KPMG, and PwC dominate the accounting world as the Big Four. Sitharaman questioned why Indian CAs, despite their global respect and capabilities, often aim to become leaders within these existing firms rather than creating a new top-tier firm from India.

"Why is it that in spite of the large number of high-quality CAs in India - respected all over the world - our CAs become (only) leaders and partners in Big Four firms? Why would you rather become a partner in a Big Four but not form a Big Four in India?" Sitharaman asked pointedly.

The finance minister also advocated for policy changes to attract industries to Bihar, underscoring that modern industries are more flexible about their locations. She cited the example of a semiconductor unit in Assam, achieved through proactive state government efforts rather than an existing industrial ecosystem.

"Industries will have to be brought here. Growth will come from East India. The Central government wants eastern states - Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha - to become engines of growth for the whole country as part of the goal to make India a developed country by 2047," she said, highlighting the strategic importance of eastern states in the national growth agenda.

Sitharaman’s call to action sets a significant challenge for the Bihar ICAI, aiming to not only elevate the region’s status in the financial sector but also contribute to the broader vision of a developed and economically robust India by 2047.

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