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. 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.

"It will be reciprocal basis and not on standalone basis. If they agree, it will be a win-win for both countries... we are very hopeful... in the UK, there is an ageing population and most of the work has shifted from the UK to India...," Agarwal, who took over as the President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) on February 12, said.

To a query about what could be the impact of chartered accountants from foreign countries practising in India, he said, India is a developing country and they are developed countries, referring to the UK, Canada and Australia. "It will be in our interest because our members can go there...," he added.

He emphasised that Indian chartered accountants because of their capabilities and expertise are in huge demand outside.
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