|Tuesday, 4 November 2003|
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It is a statutory requirement for the directors of a company to disclose to the shareholders in the annual report, their direct and indirect interest with the company. In this connection the Auditors obtain a declaration from each director of the company. At present there is much discussion going on as to whether Auditors should be allowed to carry out other professional services to their clients. Invariably these services are rendered by a sister company of the audit firm.
It should therefore be mandatory for all partners of an audit firm to make a declaration similar to the one made by company directors. Based on this declaration an appropriate disclosure should be made in the accounts. At present only the remuneration paid to auditors is disclosed. There could be business enterprises owned by partners of audit firms securing supplies from a client company.
Such transactions should also be covered by this disclosure. Those who are responsible for the new Companies Act should make provisions for the above in the new Act. In the meantime the Colombo Stock Exchange should make it mandatory for the Auditors of quoted companies to comply with the above.
Consequent to the Enron debacle such proactive legislation would be welcome by both local and foreign investors and other countries too are likely to adopt such legislation. Undoubtedly the Auditing Profession, which is primarily responsible on deciding what should be disclosed and what should not be disclosed in statutory accounts, would vehemently oppose such legislation. It is therefore the responsibility of the regulatory bodies to move on this matter.
B.L. PERERA, Seeduwa
These days articles on bicycles are aplenty. Staff writers in the fourth estate are repleting the columns with proposals and suggestions forwarded by different sectors involved in the bicycle trade.
Amongst the proposals mentioned, one bicycle industrialist insists that duty be enhanced for the import of bicycle components. Why is such a request made? Undoubtedly, it is to make fast bucks on the pretext of protecting the industry. Why a sudden patriotism simultaneously plundering the common man of his wallet?
The suggestion to increase the duty of the bicycle components is made obviously to restrict the importation of same. Thereby, create an artificial scarcity and introduce for sale only bicycles that will be locally made. Of course, without the required quality and at exorbitant prices. Under open economy and liberalisation of trade the option of purchasing a bicycle should be of democratic rights sans a snag for it. The government should study the pros and cons of all the proposals forwarded by those in the bicycle sectors and take a wise decision that will not affect the buying of a bicycle by a poor man.
The UNF government should be careful enough not to take the blame for the price increase of it. The middle class workers, specially those living in the suburbs and villages, will bear this great blunder of the authorities if the opportunity of owning even a bicycle becomes impossible.
It is reported that nearly 200,000 units of bicycles are sold annually, which total is inadequate when the population of this country is taken into account. This shows that a wage earner or a cultivator is owning a bicycle after saving an amount from his hard earned money, while it is also evident that even at the current price all cannot afford to purchase it. At such a situation, a further increase on the price subsequent to the proposed duty increase will inevitably make a person fall from the frying pan into the fire.
It is food for thought as to why an industrialist has been giving wider publicity instigating the government to increase the import duty? What is the motive behind it or rather the fact of it? Be he an industrialist, manufacturer or an assembler, his mere and pure desire will be to protect his customer - the king. Whereas the patriotic industrialist here is 'all out' to squeeze the customer so as to turn his business lucrative. Therefore, when his selfish notion is that, precaution by the authorities concerned is very essential.
Last but not the least should the poor and the middle class people be deprived of owning a bicycle too at a time when vast and fast development is to take place in this country?
NAZLY CASSIM, Colombo 13
A number of letters have appeared in this column on the decrease of interest rates paid on fixed deposits.
The more affected had been the pensioners who had not only spoken their minds but poured out their hearts and souls in dire need of a decent existence.
Even though there is little a government could do when striving to control inflation, cost of living etc, still it could not turn a Nelsonian eye on a human problem of this nature.
In the meantime most financial institutions are having a field day mobilizing low cost funds and still maintaining exorbitant interest rates on their advances.
It is here that the government could step in and bring about procedures/regulations to give redress, at least to the pensioners.
The Minister of Finance should look in to this matter and bring some sunshine to the pensioners this Christmas through the coming budget.
G. PRATHAPASINGHE, Nugegoda.
This is in response to the article by Andrew Scott of Kandy (DN, Oct. 22) on the above subject. Although it appears to be interesting and informative the point to be focused is missing.
Apparently the present scenario of a healthy diet is misconstrued. I totally agree with Mr. Scott that "during ancient times people of Sri Lanka who knew no western food habits, consumed rice and rice based products for all three meals". Unfortunately that has become history and this a different era altogether with no comparison whatsoever.
I wonder how many are still under that spell and are oblivious to what is going on around or unaware of the effects of toxic food they consume. With the present scenario, if you shake the tree a little bit you'll surprise yourself.
Also Andrew Scott talks about "the health standards our ancestors maintained and their physical strength". Isn't it obvious that they consumed unadultered food while the present generation is left with no choice but to consume poison.
It is very unfortunate but the fact remains that rice and all other locally grown vegetables and fruits, except a few are hazardous for consumption as they are heavily toxic and are not suitable for healthy leave alone for diabetic patients.
Although rice is the preferred meal for a diabetic patient, it may have adverse effects due to its poisonous substances. Similarly, during the time of our ancestors there was no question of chemicals or pesticide that are used in vast scale as is done presently. It is obvious that they consumed pure food and had the energy and stamina to do their work which we cherish now.
Apparently, the present generation is more focused on making a quick buck than that they lack human values.
When we talk about standard of health our ancestors maintained, to a greater extent the same standards are maintained in the western world. For example, a person of 80 years old in our society would be frail and fragile as compared to a person of the same age in the western world.
The answer is quite simple, therefore let us face the truth and all its implications. While the western world is keen on building a healthy generation and is cautious about what they market, the motto of our manufacturers and suppliers adhere to is none other than build a healthy bank balance.
MARY MENDIS, Moratuwa
Most of us Sri Lankans are animal lovers. Particularly lovers of cats and dogs. It's very seldom we come across a household which hasn't a cat or a dog. I myself have a lovely cat and a dog. The collar of the dog got worn out due to age and so was her brush and both were in need of replacement. I had come to know about a canine items sales shop at Narahenpitiya Road, Nawala junction and went there to buy these items.
The nylon dog collar prices started from Rs. 350 and leather collar prices started from Rs. 950 the brushes prices were between Rs. 500 to Rs. 600.
There were two women standing behind a counter without a trace of a smile, they didn't even bother to ask me what my requirements are, their sole motive being to sell these sky rotating high products to innocent animal lovers.
On the way back home I bought a leather dog collar from a hardware shop for Rs. 50 and a brush which was identical from a roadside vendor for Rs. 20. it's true that our pets are our companions and part of our family.
But please do be aware of rogue shops as these which take advantage of our kindness for pets and take us for a ride along with our canine.
A L, Nugegoda
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