Economy

PM for promoting India as preferred arbitration hub

Nayanima Basu New Delhi | Updated on January 16, 2018

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chief Justice of India TS Thakurat a conference on arbitration in New Delhi   -  Shanker Chakravarty

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he is keen to promote India as a credible hub for international arbitration even as he underscored the need for professionally run arbitral institutions which can deliver global standards of services at reasonable costs to Indian businesses.

“An enabling alternate dispute resolution ecosystem is a national priority for India. We need to promote India globally as an arbitration hub,” Modi said addressing a conference on National Initiative towards Strengthening Arbitration and Enforcement in India here Sunday.

He said the country has extraordinary lawyers and judges, including a large number of retired judges, engineers and scientists who can also work as competent arbitrators in various fields.

PM noted that India’s economic interests can be better safeguarded by a large number of arbitration experts and lawyers. But for this, he said, it is imperative to widen the ambit of legal education in the country and a need to develop specialised arbitration bar associations.

“We also need professionally run arbitral institutions which can deliver international standards of services at reasonable costs to businesses in India. We must deliberate on ways and means to supplement the efforts of the judiciary and arbitration mechanisms. Mediation is one such mechanism, the potential of which has not been utilized much in the country,” Modi said.

Referring to some of the globally recognised Asian international arbitration centres such as Hong Kong and Singapore, the PM said it is crucial to also have a high rank in the index of Ease of Doing Business.

“Alternative dispute resolution processes also preserve personal and business relationships that might otherwise be damaged by the adversarial process,” he highlighted.

He said with the onset of a “digital revolution” in the country, innovative business models and app-based start-ups have given rise to a spirit of enterprise among Indians.

”Businesses seek assurance of the prevalence of rule of law in the Indian market. They need to be assured that the rules of the game will not change overnight, in an arbitrary fashion and that commercial disputes will be resolved efficiently. A robust legal framework backed by a vibrant arbitration culture is essential,” he said.

GST to boost domestic demand

On the issue of goods and services tax (GST), the PM said it will boost domestic demand thereby creating more job opportunities in the country.

He said so far the domestic market has been fragmented and different taxes across different states have made goods and services more expensive.

“Our domestic market has been fragmented. Different taxes across different states have made goods and services more expensive. This has hampered growth in inter-state commerce. We are enacting a Goods and Services Tax law, to create an integrated national market. This will further boost domestic demand, create more opportunities for Indian business and drive job creation,” he said.

Published on October 23, 2016

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