THT 10 years ago: Effective audit committees in companies sought

Kathmandu, June 23, 2006

Financial experts have expressed the view that audit committees are needed in public limited companies to strengthen financial reporting for better governance.

Despite Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) having made a mandatory provision for the need of audit committee four years ago, it has not been effective which has caused errors in financial reporting.

Even the recent company ordinance has also made it a mandatory to have audit committees that will ultimately lead to accountability, systemic efficiency and transparency. Interestingly, promoters of companies still do not understand what really audit committees do for better accountability to the public about the companies’ progress.

Bijay Nath Bhattarai, governor of NRB, said that audit committees work towards fulfilling four responsibilities of overseeing financial reporting process, adopting accounting policies, and principles, monitoring internal control process and evaluation of performance of external auditors.

Bhattarai informed that banks and financial institutions also fall under the public limited category.

He said that NRB is one of the few public institutions in the country to pioneer the audit committee practices and endeavour to comply with international accounting standards and international financial reporting systems.

Valley vulnerable to liver ailments

Health experts have said low immunity has resulted in repeated outbreaks of liver related diseases like jaundice in the Kathmandu valley.

Speaking at a press meet organised by the Liver Foundation Nepal to make people aware of the sudden rise in jaundice and other liver related diseases in the valley, Dr Santosh Man Shrestha, president of the LFN, said, “Recurrence of liver diseases in a particular area is rare in other parts of the world but this is the fourth time that there is viral outbreak in Kathmandu valley.”

He, however, said no traces of virus mutation were found. Dr Shrestha said people who have migrated from the other parts of the country to the capital city were the most affected by liver ailments.

“Individuals infected during sporadic outbreak of viral diseases develop immunity. The rural areas of the country are still least affected by the diseases and the ruralites who migrate to the valley are most vulnerable to liver ailments.”

About 90 per cent cases of Acute Lever Failure result in deaths whereas only 50 per cent lever transplant cases succeed. Moreover, liver transplant is an expensive treatment, he said.

About two per cent population in Kathmandu valley suffers from some form of liver ailment through out the year and the disease is spread by the use of contaminated water.