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Taskforce likely on UK, India corporate issues
June, 19th 2007
To deal with corporate laws, regulation, e-governance

New Delhi June 18 Recognising the UK as a significant destination for investment by Indian companies, the Ministry of Company Affairs is considering a UK-Indian Corporate Taskforce to ease corporate and institutional issues for the business community of the two countries.

The taskforce will deal specifically with issues on corporate laws and regulation, e-governance and delivery systems, capacity building and institutional infrastructure. .

Accounting & auditing

It will also look at concerns of the two sides on accounting and auditing standards and principles. There have been certain demands on the Indian side regarding the same. "The Indian qualifications in accounting are not recognised in the UK," said an official of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). There is a perception in the UK that the Indian examination for these qualifications is not up to international standards. A local degree of Britain is required for accounting professionals to practise there, the official added.

In addition to this, offshoring of book-keeping work is not allowed by the UK as it requires the professional to be physically present to carry out the work.

New company law

Britain, on the other hand, would try to look at issues relating to corporate governance and investor protection. "The British and Indian governments have set up a dialogue to discuss issues relating to the proposed new company law, which the Indian Government is currently formulating. Main issues which the law will cover, including investor protection and corporate governance, will be addressed," said the British High Commission spokesperson.

The objective is to share ideas and discuss the UK's experience in setting up similar structures and the exchange of views will create synergies between corporate law in the UK and India, added the spokesperson.

"The taskforce may be set up in the next two to three months," said an official of Assocham.

The taskforce is likely to be headed by the Secretary of the Ministry from the Indian side. The Ministry has written to Assocham and CII asking to nominate their representatives on the taskforce.

About 500-600 Indian companies have resident presence in Britain. The investment from India to the UK has been rising consistently, particularly in the IT sector.

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