SECP holds awareness session on revised code of corporate governance

KARACHI: The 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 recently.

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 letter and spirit. He highlighted that the process is an evolutionary one and SECP encourages the stakeholders to come forward with their comments and issues which would ensure a better governance system. President ICAP Ahmed Saeed thanked SECP for conducting the session and highlighted that the code of corporate governance in Pakistan is the brainchild of ICAP.

He also spoke on the relationship of SECP and ICAP citing it to be vital and promoting good corporate governance in the country. Chairman CPD and past President 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 had 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 Mr. 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.

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.

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