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Underscoring the need for an improved system for dispute resolution, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Arun Jaitley called for adequate arbitral infrastructure, which also takes care of the high costs involved with the process. “Public spending has increased. Therefore it is extremely important both from the point of view of the ease of doing business and also to retain the confidence of the investor itself that our system is tuned in order to ensure that we have a robust mechanism for expeditious disposal of any disputes which arise”; Jaitley said, while addressing the Global Conference on National Initiative On Strengthening Arbitration and Enforcement, organised by the Niti Aayog.
The first day of the three-day conference was also addressed by President Pranab Mukherjee, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya, Chief Justice of India TS Thakur, Justice UU Lalit, among other legal experts.
“In the first instance, we need the adequate infrastructure for arbitration, that’s an area we have made headway. References made to the arbitration centre at Mumbai, I’m conscious of the fact that efforts are being made to actively revive the arbitration centre in Delhi also and hopefully in the other large towns of India,” Jaitley added. The country’s first International Arbitration Centre was inaugurated in Mumbai on October 8. At present, most of the global business disputes involving Indians are taken up in the Singapore or the London arbitration centres.
“In order to expedite the arbitration, cut down the cost and therefore incentivise people from arbitrating in India
…,” Jaitley said. Concurring with Jaitley, Justice Thakur said that promoting institutional arbitration will help India emerge as a preferred destination for arbitral adjudication. He said that studies showed that foreign investors consider India as a preferred foreign portfolio investment amongst the emerging markets. “In some quarters, there is a perception that courts in this country interfere with arbitral awards more than courts in other jurisdictions do. This perception should no longer persist given some recent path-breaking pronouncements towards making India an arbitration-friendly destination,” said Justice Thakur.