Citizen activists allege financial violations by PwC

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New Delhi, July 4 (IANS) Citizen activists on Tuesday demanded immediate action against top auditing firm PwC alleging its involvement in various financial violations, which they said may cause “damage to public interest and even to national security”.

Addressing a press conference here, members of Citizens Whistle Blowers Forum alleged despite being held guilty by the government agencies of various financial violations, PwC’s business from the government projects was multiplying.

Activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan demanded termination of all government contracts to PwC and investigation in all allegations against PwC, alleging that the firm has been implicated by agencies such as Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Satyam scam, fabrication and fudging of documents, misrepresentation in respect of the purpose of illegal inflows.

PwC, in an official statement, denied the allegations.

“We deny the allegations made. PwC has always complied and will continue to comply with applicable laws and regulations and any suggestion to the contrary is merely speculative,” it said.

Bhushan, in his allegations, said: “Blatant violations of various statues, misrepresentation by PwC in respect of purpose of illegal inflows raises apprehensions about the real end purpose and source.

“A Joint Parliamentary Committee had in 2002 recommended action against PwC. However, no government since then has taken any action. PwC has been involved in benami transactions, evasion of Income Tax, and falsification of accounts. Yet, it has been hired by the Income Tax authorities to help it in the black money probe. It raises serious issues of conflict of interest.”

Bhushan alleged that though PwC blatantly violated or circumvented the FDI policy, FEMA, it has been empanelled by the Reserve Bank of India to conduct audit of IT information systems.

The CWBF also held PwC responsible for hiding information about diversion of money in Vijay Mallya’s company from 2010 to 2014.

Bhushan questioned why the government was not penalizing PwC but it was rather being awarded various contracts and works when it has “breached the fiduciary trust imposed in it”.

Jagdeep Chokkar, member of CWBC, alleged “complicity” between government authorities such as Registrar of Companies and the PwC for the inaction.

–IANS

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