ISLAMABAD, 26 JULY 2012: The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has taken notice of a circular issued by the Institute of Chartered Accounts of Pakistan (ICAP) that barred the member audit firms from engaging students having foreign qualifications and non-ICAP students.

CCP received a number of complaints concerning the circular dated 4 July 2012 issued by ICAP through which all its members firms have been barred from providing training opportunities to non-ICAP students, in particular the students of foreign accountancy bodies.

In terms of the ICAP circular, the bar has been imposed under Section 22 of the Chartered Accountant Ordinance, 1961. While such bar prima facie appeared to exclude and place an entry barrier on the students of foreign accountancy bodies pursuing foreign accountancy qualification in Pakistan; therefore, the Commission asked ICAP to explain rational for such an action by 23 July 2012.

However, due to the meeting of ICAP’s Council scheduled on 28 July 2012, ICAP has requested for an extension in filing the reply up to by 31 July 2012. The Commission has granted the extension requested by ICAP and on receipt of the reply of ICAP the Commission shall proceed further in the matter.

On the other hand the Commission also wrote to foreign accountancy bodies such as ACCA and CIMA for their feedback and CCP is still awaiting their response in this regard.