Chartered accountants from the UK and Canada might be allowed to practice in India on a reciprocal basis, with the apex body ICAI making the proposal to the government.

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ICAI President Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal on Wednesday said the proposal will be implemented strictly on the reciprocal basis that chartered accountants from India will also be allowed to practice in the United Kingdom and Canada.

It will be the first time that an overseas chartered accountant will be allowed to practice in India.

The proposal is part of India’s ongoing negotiations for Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with the UK and Canada.

Agarwal also said that a similar arrangement is being looked with Australia.

Once the reciprocal system is implemented, the chartered accountants from the foreign countries will have to be registered with the ICAI, which will be regulating them.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has more than 4 lakh members and 8.5 lakh students.

Currently, around 42,000 chartered accountants from India are working overseas.

“There is a huge demand for chartered accountants from India,” Agarwal, who took over as the President earlier this month, said.

India’s FTA Negotiations with UK and Canada: An Update

India is currently engaged in ongoing negotiations for Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with both the UK and Canada. Here’s a summary of the latest developments:

India-UK FTA:

  • Status: As of February 2024, 13 rounds of negotiations have been completed. Both parties are aiming for a comprehensive and ambitious agreement covering goods, services, and investment.
  • Progress: The 13th round occurred from September 18 to December 15, 2023, with discussions held in person and virtually. Key areas of focus included market access for goods, liberalization of services, and investment rules.
  • Next Steps: The 14th round was originally scheduled for January 2024, but no updates on its status are available. Officials are tight-lipped about specific progress, but both sides remain committed to concluding the talks soon.

India-Canada FTA:

  • Status: Negotiations are ongoing towards a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
  • Progress: The last official update from Canadian authorities dates back to March 2021, indicating constructive discussions on various issues like trade in goods and services, e-commerce, and investment. Since then, further details about progress are limited.
  • Next Steps: No specific timeline for further rounds of negotiations is publicly available.

Overall:

  • Both negotiations hold significant potential for boosting trade and economic ties between India and the respective partner countries.
  • Specific details on progress and sticking points remain confidential during ongoing negotiations.
  • It’s important to stay updated on official announcements and media reports for further developments.

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