On Saturday, Union Finance Secretary and senior IAS officer T.V. Somanathan expressed the view that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to replace the roles traditionally undertaken by auditors and accountants.
Somanathan emphasized the profound economic implications of AI, highlighting that the automation of business processes could achieve far greater efficiency and effectiveness with the integration of artificial intelligence.
He noted that AI has the capacity to significantly reduce the workload currently handled by auditors and accountants. Additionally, Somanathan envisaged a potential expansion of credit lending within the Indian economy.
Somanathan elaborated, stating, "In India, credit extended to the private sector accounts for approximately 55 percent of the GDP, whereas in China, it surpasses 180 percent. I must clarify that the Chinese level is neither healthy nor desirable; however, it serves as a point of reference.
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Our objective should not be to reach that level, but rather to increase India's credit levels to around 100-120 percent of the GDP. This would stimulate investment and economic growth."
He further explained, "Projects that have been dormant may gain momentum with increased access to credit. Nevertheless, the challenge lies in expanding the volume of credit without incurring bad debts, which we politely refer to as Non-Performing Assets (NPAs). This expansion of credit will naturally lead to an increased demand for accountants."
The Union finance secretary also predicted that the number of income taxpayers in India would continue to rise steadily in the years to come. He anticipated an annual growth rate of 6-7 percent in the number of income taxpayers, which would consequently create a heightened demand for skilled accountants.
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