The issues of opening up of accountancy services in India and recognition to Indian accountancy professionals in the UK are likely to get a push at the forthcoming India-UK talks on Corporate Governance. The key issue will be the reciprocal recognition to the members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and its British counterpart.

Only if the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and the UK’s Professional Oversight Board grant recognition to ICAI’s members, can Indian CAs practice statutory audit work in the UK.

Another related issue that is being pursued is permission to Indian audit firms to sign audit reports using their internationally-recognised names and recognition of India’s Quality Review Board on audits by the European Union.

Visa norms :- India also wants relaxation of visa and work permit norms in the UK. This is to facilitate more Indians to undergo training in the UK and clear their professional accountancy qualification exams. Incidentally, the UK had given its backing to accounting technicians course in India.

An 8-10-member team comprising the Corporate Affairs Ministry Secretary, Mr R. Bandyopadhyay; the Officer on Special Duty at the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs, Mr Jitesh Khosla; and members of ICAI, the Institute of Company Secretaries of India and the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India left for London on Tuesday.

Also, among the issues to be taken up by the India-UK Task Force on Corporate Governanceare practical difficulties in implementing the globally acknowledged accounting norms known as the International Financial Reporting Standards.

Besides, a joint research project on ‘Corporate Social Responsibility as a business strategy’ as well as discussions on Limited Liability Partnership and shareholder activism would form part of the task force meeting.

The Indian delegation would also hold talks with the UK’s Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.

The Joint Task Force was set up in 2006 to look into areas of mutual cooperation in corporate governance and regulation.

The discussions will also focus on insolvency practice as well as forging ties with each others’ regulators.

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