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Arbitration culture vital for promoting India: PM Modi

by October 23, 2016 General

NEW DELHI: Maintaining that a robust legal framework backed by a vibrant arbitration culture is essential to attract investment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that his government has initiated far-reaching legal framework to create a mechanism by assuring that the rules of the game will not change overnight in an arbitrary fashion..

Addressing the valedictory function of ‘National Initiative towards Strengthening Arbitration and Enforcement in India’, on Sunday, Prime Minister said, “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.”
“An enabling alternate dispute resolution ecosystem is a national priority for India. We need to promote India globally as an arbitration hub,” he said.

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.
“India’s economic interests shall be better served by a higher number of arbitration experts and lawyers. This in turn requires widening the ambit of legal education in India. There is need to develop specialised arbitration bar associations,” he said adding that there is also a need for professionally run arbitral institutions which can deliver international standards of services at reasonable costs to businesses in India.
“Mediation is one such mechanism, the potential of which has not been utilized much in the country,” he 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.
Innovative business models and app-based start-ups have instilled a spirit of enterprise among Indians, he noted, adding that yesterday’s job seekers are becoming today’s job creators.
Modi further said, “The independence of the judiciary is a basic feature of the Indian Constitution. Common citizens as well as businesses repose immense faith in the integrity of the judicial process. Our government has taken various
initiatives to improve the judicial infrastructure and administration.”

He said the enactment of Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Act for speedy resolution of commercial disputes is a step in that direction.
PM, while thanking NITI Ayog for organising the event, has also make it clear that  India is experiencing a digital revolution. This is bridging the digital and economic divide in Indian society in general; and rural society in particular. “A boost to the rural economy through this revolution will make the Indian economy even more robust,” PM asserts.
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 asserts.
“Indeed, we stand out as a bright spot in the global economy. This is the result of India’s fundamental strengths– democracy, demographic dividend and demand. We need to fully harness these strengths. This
can happen only if businesses make long-term investments and sustain economic growth,” he said.