6th Chartered Accountants Exam Centre Inaugurated In Uganda !!

The application process of CA November 2020 examinations is open now, and candidates can apply before August 25 to appear for the exams. Moreover, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has added more test centre in the list of ICAI test centres 2020 that was earlier shared. Now, there will be more than 300 test centres for ICAI 2020 that is scheduled to be held from November 1 to 17, 2020. 

The ICAI exam, also known as CA exams, is conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) for aspirants of Chartered Accountancy profession in India. The exam is conducted at different levels as per the CA courses. For being certified as a Chartered Accountant, candidates have to qualify in all the levels of ICAI examinations.

The CA courses at ICAI are as under: 

  1. CA Foundation course examination (4 papers)
  2. CA Intermediate examination (8 papers based on New Syllabus and 8 paper based on Old Syllabus)
  3. CA Final examination (8 papers based on New Syllabus and 8 paper based on Old Syllabus)

The ICPAU is responsible for: (i) setting and maintaining accounting and auditing standards; (ii) setting licensing requirements for accounting firms, and issuing and renewing licenses; (iii) issuing practicing certificates to qualified members who wish to practice accountancy; (iv) maintaining a register of practicing accountants; (v) setting initial professional development and continuing professional development requirements and regulating practical training; (vi) establishing ethical requirements; (vii) monitoring the conduct and performance of its members, including quality assurance reviews; (viii) investigating and disciplining members for misconduct and breach of professional standards; and (ix) advising the government on matters of financial accountability.

Welcoming Our New Indian High Commissioner Shri. Ajay Kumar..!! Presenting a Frame Showing Holi Celebration in Uganda ..!!

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Shri A. Ajay Kumar joined the Indian Foreign Service in the year 2001 and he is currently posted as the High Commissioner of India to Uganda.

During 2003-2006, Shri Ajay Kumar was posted as Third Secretary between 2003-05 and as Second Secretary [Info] & Head of Chancery during 2005-06 in the Indian Embassy in Tehran. Thereafter, he returned to India and served in the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi as Under Secretary dealing with Pakistan during 2006-08

He served in the Indian Embassy in Bahrain from 2008-2012 and thereafter in Tehran from 2012-14.  He served as India’s Ambassador to Iraq from May 2014-November 2015. Later he served as Deputy High Commissioner in Canberra, Australia (2016-17).

Shri A. Ajay Kumar thereafter has served in the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi in the Indian Ocean Region of MEA as Joint Secretary (IOR-II) prior to assuming his charge as Joint Secretary (DPA-I).

 Shri A. Ajay Kumar holds the graduate degree in Political Science and L.L.B. degree from the University of Calicut in Kerala.

Shri A. Ajay Kumar (IFS:2001), presently Joint Secretary in the Ministry, has been appointed as the new High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Uganda.

The State Minister for Tourism – Uganda, Hon. Godfrey Kiwanda visits Graphic Systems !!

The State Minister for Tourism – Uganda, Hon. Godfrey Kiwanda visits Graphic Systems !! #Minister #Tourism #HonKiwanda #GraphicsSystems #RajeshChaplot #Uganda #GodfreyKiwanda #StateMinisterfortourism #MinisterofStateforTourismWildlifeandAntiquities #UG
The State Minister for Tourism – Uganda, Hon. Godfrey Kiwanda visits Graphic Systems !! #Minister #Tourism #HonKiwanda #GraphicsSystems #RajeshChaplot #Uganda #GodfreyKiwanda #StateMinisterfortourism #MinisterofStateforTourismWildlifeandAntiquities #UG

Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU)

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BUBU needs what? – “An Answer”

Introduction.

Buy Uganda Build Uganda.

BUBU Policy is an economic Cum Patriotic policy for which H.E The President of Uganda deserves our gratitude.

BUBU can be a game changer for Uganda, if all its stakeholders are honest to themselves for its implementation & removing the hurdles observed during its implementation journey.

Consumers, i.e. the common people & leaders are Biggest & most important stakeholders of BUBU’s success. Apart from consumers, Community Leaders have an Important role, in the journey of BUBU.

Journey of Amendment.

From time immemorial, the modification or the amendment of any policy or Act is a key for its success. The first amendment for the BUBU Guidelines was brought, with the support of H.E the President of Uganda, where BUBU supplier definition was amended to include Local Manufacturing companies, among citizen of Uganda as the eligible suppliers.

The next very important Amendment, which is pending is to amend again, the definition of BUBU Supplier.

The test of BUBU supplier should be “where the goods are manufactured and not, who is supplying it”

MDA’s are currently issuing LPO’s to many locally registered companies, portraying that BUBU is complied, when in reality these locally registered companies are importing 100% of those products.

For Example: Sourcing of Primary and Secondary Text Books among others.

This loop hole in BUBU definition needs an amendment.

The recently passed Local content bill by the Parliament of Uganda, is another great step in this journey.

Consumer

The biggest challenge in the success of BUBU is the ultimate consumer.

The common man within the Private Sector or Public Sector are the consumers within the society.

It is the consumer at the end, who will decide, on what they want to consume.

Consumers needs to change their mindset & support BUBU by adopting & consuming Ugandan made products.

Quality, Taste and price are some of the issues that could be a challenge for the consumers in the initial period, but once the consumers demand is picked, Quality, taste & price, all will be improved.

Public and Private Sector enterprises, also need to be educated & motivated to consume possible locally produced Raw materials or locally made consumables, at their work place as much as possible.

Public and Private enterprises, need to be made partners of BUBU through various Legal methods.

Excuses for failure of BUBU.

Some common excuse which is being embraced by Government entities for going away from BUBU is the term called “Security”.

Local manufacturers or local Indigenous people are considered as point of leakage and thus Manufacturers based outside Uganda, are given the chance.

For Example: Ballot paper printing.

We need to trust our own people & we need to train them to avoid such chances of leakages. Also, strict guidelines & legal penalties can be part of the contract, to answer this security aspect of doing things locally.

For products like Transcript, Passing Certificate and Results slip for UNEB and Universities, outside suppliers have wrongly convinced MDA’s to keep some security features in their products which are irrelevant. Their aim is to keep local suppliers out of Race.

The second most Excuse, we hear from Government entities is high price.

Government needs to support BUBU, even if local producer’s prices are high, because at the end it supports the bigger picture of Ugandan economy, by saving foreign Exchange, by local employment generation and by capacity building.

The BUBU Guidelines or local content Act should take care of this, price excuse suitably.

Quality & capacity are another set of flags raised by Government entities, in the matters of supporting BUBU Suppliers.

Government, if it gives a zone of comfort to purchase locally then, Manufacturers will develop the capacity, if it is lacking. No investor will invest without the commitment from the Government of buying locally.  Hence, there is need of, proper dialogue between Government & Private sector.

Regarding Quality also, both Government & private sector need to come to an agreement for mutually acceptable solution, to this Excuse of quality but of course Quality needs to be improved eventually.

Recently in Newspaper, we saw a directive from H.E The president of Uganda to print locally, the currency, Ballot papers & other such high security printing material. This was a very welcome initiative

BUBU- # An Economic Fight against Covid-19

BUBU can save a huge foreign exchange for the country & can generate, also additional employment which is a need of the hour.

In Today’s time Uganda is suffering from unemployment and BUBU is a perfect answer to it.

By way of saving foreign exchange, even the devaluation of Uganda shilling can be reduced or stopped completely

Way Forward.

PPDA

  1. Redefine the definition of BUBU suppliers i.e. The requirement of a BUBU supplier should be, “where the goods are manufactured and not who is supplying the goods”
  2. Excuses of security, capacity, Quality and price brought by various MDA’s need to be eliminated by enacting appropriate Guidelines.
  3. PPDA & Private sector need to have a dialogue & agree on a list of goods or services, for which importation need to be discouraged through Tariff & Non- Tariff Barriers.

Consumers.

  1. Leaders need to lead the consumers by example and promote Patriotism to its peak.

(Rajesh Chaplot)

(The Writer is A General Manager  of Graphic Systems (U) Limited, Award winner for Pravasi Bhartiya Samman in 2009 being awarded by the President of India and also received the Golden Jubilee award in 2020 which is the Highest Civilian Award from H.E The President of Uganda.)

MITIGATING THE IMPACT OF COVID -19 ON BUSINESS By Rajesh Chaplot

Saving life and Saving Economy. 

At this hour, every business organization needs to follow four Mantras:

 1-Leadership

 2-Values and ethics

 3-Motivated team

 4-Robust and strategic business plan

Strong leadership is very important, at this time of the crisis. We need to be positive and bring positivity to our organization. Also at this moment, we need to be very careful, concerning our values and ethics. Losing values and ethics, at this time, can be harmful in the medium and long-term, even though they may be looking good, in the short run. We may have, men /machine/ and material, but to manage all these three, we need to have a motivated team. 

A robust and strategic business plan comprises the following:

  1. Maximize sales
  2. Maintain liquidity
  3. Cost reduction
  4. Defer capital expenditure which would not generate, any extra sales
  5. Lobby and take advantages of the government financial package
  6. Look innovative ways, of doing business after the lock-down.

How to Maximize Sales?

Look for diversification, look for new territories, look at new areas, and look for new products, in your field of business. Many of your competitors may fail, and we should capitalize on those opportunities. Make business cartels within the parameters of the law of the country, which would help you to maintain your selling price. Hedge your selling price, as against the exchange devaluation. 

Maintain Liquidity

At this time, maintaining liquidity is also very important. Reduce your stock levels as much as possible. Give a special focus on your debt recovery plan. Negotiate with banks to restructure your EMI’s, if needed, as per the guidelines of the central bank. It will not affect your credit rating. Defer your statutory payments if your government has allowed it.  

Government Intervention  

Lobby and take advantage of the various government packages. If you are not a member of any business association of your country, then take the membership.

 Cost Reduction

(a) Employment Cost

Among the various heads of the indirect cost, employment cost is the highest. Reduction in the staff cost can be achieved in many ways,

  1. By retrenching staff,
  2. By reducing the salaries and perks
  3. The combination of both.  

Especially, when we are retrenching, local staff, we need to be very careful, that we are following, the law of the land. The Ministry of Labor might have issued some guidelines and clarification, in this regard, but see carefully if any relaxation is given. Maybe not.  

It should be well noted and understood. While retrenching the staff, the following elements of the employment act should be kept in mind namely— notice pay, severance allowance, pending leave, and any terms and conditions of the employment contract, which have been committed by the company.  

If companies will not take care of these provisions, of the employment act, then we may end up in the court. Also, be careful, as what we give in writing, to the staff, at the time of retrenching, because if not taken care of this, then it can create a legal issue for the organization. Staff cost can also be reduced by adjusting, their annual leave, with this lock-down days.  

 Reimbursement of some expenses like transport cost, training cost, telephone cost, lunch expenses, can also be deducted for this, lock-down period salary. Staff can also be sent, on long leave without pay, but this needs to be done, with the consent of staff. If the organization is Paying overtime to workers, try to find a way that can be saved without affecting the production. Companies can also think, for some of the staff, who can work from home and, thus save cost.   

Some of the expatriate staff can be sent for long leave. Alternatively, some of them can work, from their country, and you may pay them, much less salary for that period.    

Improve the efficiency of your workers and your staff, with creative thinking. Renegotiating the terms of employment, with the consent of the staff should also be explored.  

One has to be very careful; that staff on duty, in any organization, are kept motivated. Working with the de-motivated staff would give hidden losses to the organization, which, we will never realize it. 

(b) Force major clause in various contracts  

Applicability of the force major clause, in various contracts, needs to be studied by each company, as to how you can invoke or how others can invoke against you in this situation. This can increase your cost or decrease your cost.  

(c) Electricity cost  

Run your factory in the night instead of the day and use the off-peak electricity rates.  

(d) Imported raw material 

Imported raw material prices can be negotiated in your favor. As supply will be more than demand. 

(e) Marketing budget  

A marketing budget can be curtailed while keeping a close watch on your competitor policy.  

(f) Other expenses

Traveling is going to be very costly as airfares will be high, so minimize air travel – Control wasteful expenses like production wastage, repair, and maintenance ( focus on preventative maintenance )

 COVID policy or Pandemic policy  

Draft a Pandemic policy for your organization. This will help you in many litigation and remove the ambiguity in the employment act, like you can define severance allowance in your policy.  

In the end, I will only say, that during this lock-down period, develop a cost reduction plan, to save your company, from any cash losses.