Millennium Post

Working to make India an arbitration hub: PM Modi

Asserting that his government has initiated far-reaching legal reforms, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said it wants to create a vibrant arbitration mechanism as investors need to be assured that the rules of the game will not be changed arbitrarily and commercial disputes can be resolved efficiently.

An enabling alternative dispute resolution ecosystem is a national priority as it will not only add to investors’ comfort level but also ease the burden on courts , he said, adding there is a need to promote India globally as an arbitration hub.

“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.

Addressing the valedictory function of ‘National Initiative towards Strengthening Arbitration and Enforcement in India’, Modi said towards this end, the government has initiated far-reaching legal reforms.

“Over a thousand archaic laws have been scrapped. We have enacted a comprehensive Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, implemented the National Company Law Tribunals, established a statutory Monetary Policy Committee and effected a merger of the commodities and securities market,” he told the gathering which included Chief Justice of India T S Thakur and members of the judiciary from several countries.

The Prime Minister said creation of a vibrant ecosystem for institutional arbitration, is one of the foremost priorities of his government. Recently, major amendments have been made to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. This has made the arbitration process easy, timely and hassle-free.

He said legal reforms can deliver desired results only when there is an effective and efficient dispute resolution mechanism.

“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,” Modi noted.

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. Modi said the government has been working on a strategy for convergence of existing tribunals. This will help transform the existing complicated tribunal system into a simpler structure.

“We need to simultaneously facilitate a vibrant ecosystem for alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration, mediation and conciliation. This will provide additional comfort to investors and businesses. More importantly, it will also ease the case-load on Indian courts,” he said.
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