Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday underscored the need for the economic legislation to be tuned with global norms.

Inaugurating the regional conference of the Southern India Regional Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) here, he said the country had concluded tax information exchange agreements with eight countries.

The Finance Minister said the implementation of globally acceptable accounting standards was of great importance in the emerging economic scenario. The renegotiation of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement with various countries was being actively pursued.

Risk management tools should not fiddle with accounting standards. Though lax regulation might encourage financial disorderliness, excessive exercise of regulation would be harmful. Good regulators would bring in long-term benefits, he said.

Mr. Mukherjee said the Direct Taxes Code reform would be implemented only after necessary discussions with the stakeholders.

The issues pertaining to the reform were being scrutinised by the Standing Committee of Parliament.

The concurrence of States was essential for implementation of the Goods and Services Tax as the States and the Centre would have legislative competence in the same areas. Discussions were being held with the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers in this connection.

Inclusive growth

Pointing out that transforming the economy of 120-crore people on a sustainable basis was a challenging task, Mr. Mukherjee lauded the efforts of ICAI in fine tuning financial reporting, auditing and accounting procedures.

Inclusive growth is required to address poverty, diseases and other social maladies. Empowerment is required to achieve inclusiveness. It needed entitlements and not mere announcement of policies. Right to job and universal education to children up to the age of 14 were part of such reforms that required huge investments.Union Minister of State for Agriculture K. V. Thomas noted the pro-active role played by the chartered accountants in providing inputs to the government.

K. M. Mani, former minister; Amarjit Chopra, President of ICAI, G. Ramaswasmy, Vice-President of ICAI; Babu Abraham Kallivayalil, Chairman of the Southern Regional council of ICAI; P. C. Chacko, MP; P. Rajeev, MP; M. Narendra, Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Overseas Bank; B. S.Bhasin, Chief General Manager, State Bank of India, Kerala Circle, were among the speakers at the inaugural session of the two-day meet.