Corporate governance is the way forward: Commissioner SECP

KARACHI: Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan SECP conducted an awareness session on the revised Code of Corporate Governance at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan ICAP Karachi on June 11 2013.

Under the revised Code certain previously optional provisions were made mandatory and also new concepts and requirements introduced which led to increased queries from the stakeholders. As a part of SECPs efforts to reach out to the stakeholders, Awareness sessions were held at Islamabad Lahore and Karachi Stock Exchanges last year targeted towards CEOs, CFOs, company secretaries and internal auditors of the listed companies. This year owing to the robust ICAP membership and the fact that ICAP members are actively involved in implementing revised code in their roles as CFOs, Company Secretaries, Internal Auditors, External Auditors, Board members and CEO’s SECP conducted the session at the awareness sessions at ICAP

The session comprised presentations and panel discussion by the Commissioner SECP, President ICAP, Legal Director and Company Secretary Unilever Pakistan, Deputy Director Strategy, Development and External Relations Department SECP and Session chairman ICAP Past President Ebrahim Yacoob Sidat.

Commissioner SECP Asif Arif graced the session as the Chief Guest he spoke on the importance of implementing the Code in true letter and spirit. He highlighted that the process is an evolutionary one and the SECP encourages the stakeholders to come forward with their comments and issues which would ensure a better governance system, The President ICAP Ahmed Saeed thanked SECP for conducting the session at the ICAP and highlighted that the code of corporate governance in Pakistan is the brain child of ICAP.

He also spoke on the relationship of SECP and ICAP citing it to be vital promoting good corporate governance in the country. The Chairman CPD and past President Mr.Abdul Rahim Suriya in his remarks spoke of the hurdle created for CAs by putting condition of 5 years’ experience of handling financial or corporate affairs of listed company or bank or financial
institution .He said that ICAP has approached SECP for exempting this experience condition for CAs, he also pointed out that Corporate reporting should be included in the Code. The Legal Director and Company Secretary Unilever Pakistan Amar Naseer gave the industry perspective of the Code and criticized the separation of dual titles of CEO and Chairman , he also pointed out that recording of meetings with video and audio is not important and mere minutes should suffice.

Deputy Director Strategy, Development and External Relations Department SECP Mirza Shoaib Baig presented a comparison of the Codes and highlighted the changes. Following the presentation the floor was open for question answer session which was chaired by the ICAP Past President Ebrahim Yacoob Sidat. He with expertise and command of corporate governance
conducted the two hour long question answer session putting forward the views and suggestions of the participants and the regulators.

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