President Pratibha Patil on Saturday underlined the need for simplified legislation and transparent policies to promote investment in the country.
“To attract investment, to promote production and to support technological upgradation, legislation and policies need to be progressive and transparent.”
The President was inaugurating the International Law Association Regional Conference on ‘International Trade Law and Legal Aspects of Trans-Border Investment’ here.
“Even as we address the complexities of improved global financial governance, reducing poverty and hunger as well as attaining the Millennium Development Goals should remain the essential objectives of the world. Contraction of global trade resulted in huge social and economic implications, affecting the rich and poor nations in varying degrees. In this scenario, the need for pushing ahead on the Doha Round of trade talks with its focus on the ‘development dimension’ is of immense importance. The growing tendency of protectionism amongst some countries will retard the stabilisation process.”
Ms. Patil said: “As the harshness of recession seems to tone down, companies are looking for new business opportunities. Also, encouragingly for us in India, industrial production has posted an upward growth. As an investment destination, India rests on strong fundamentals. It has a large market, skilled manpower, independent judiciary and a comprehensive legal and economic infrastructure. In terms of legal frameworks for business enterprises, these should be predictable and designed to ensure that they operate smoothly.”
Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan said: “In recent years, many countries have entered into bilateral investment treaties wherein two countries agree to extend protection and concessions to investors based in each other’s territories. The guarantees given to foreign investors are expected to act as signals for attracting more Foreign Direct Investment in the future. It goes without saying that foreign investors should be entitled to adequate remedies in cases of direct expropriation such as nationalisation of their assets or compulsory acquisition, as well as in cases of losses caused due to civil unrest or political upheaval.”
Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily said special commercial courts would be set up in High Courts for quick adjudication of economic and corporate disputes.
Another area that required judicial intervention and analysis was corporate fraud and governance. Unless the world community was satisfied that international covenants would be adhered to in situations arising from legal tangles and frivolous litigation, it would shy away from Indian markets.
ILA president Eduardo Grebler (Brazil), secretary-general David J.C. Wyld (United Kingdom) and senior advocates Soli Sorabjee and P.H. Parekh spoke.
Dinakaran opts out of tour
Later in an informal chat with journalists, Justice Balakrishnan said Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran, against whom allegations have been levelled, himself opted out of an official judges’ delegation to Australia leaving on Monday.
He declined to say anything on Friday’s Supreme Court collegium meeting, which discussed the issue of elevation of Justice Dinakaran to the Supreme Court.