Arun Jaitley proposes task force for arbitral centres for Brics countries
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New Delhi: Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday proposed setting up a task force to set up arbitration centres in the Brics nations—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
The suggestion comes at a time when there is greater push for reforms in the law to ensure dispute resolution happens quicker and there is ease of doing business.
Moreover, the minister’s proposal comes 6 weeks before India is set to host the 8th Brics summit in Goa in October.
Jaitley, delivering the valedictory speech at the conference on ‘International Arbitration in BRICS – Challenges, Opportunities and Road Ahead’, said that developing countries have often expressed apprehension about arbitral awards, or decisions, from the established institutional arbitral centres which have gained credibility over the years. Developing countries feel that these awards are often biased against them. He was referring to centres like the London Court of International Arbitration or the International Court of Arbitration, Paris based in developed countries.
This needed creation of parallel arbitration centres for other countries, he added.
“I’ll go to the extent of suggesting that we have a task force of officials and experts…a task force which can discuss this issue at length and then set up an appropriate mechanism where we can have arbitral centres as far as the BRICS nations are concerned,” Jaitley said.
The suggestion for a Brics-centric arbitration centre and set of rules also came through in the three technical sessions with representatives of the five countries held through the day.
Shaktikanta Das, secretary, department of economic affairs, added that there was a need for balancing private interests (of an investor) and the overwhelming public needs of a country while deciding disputes.
The event was inaugurated by law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who said that the issue of competing claims of the investors in a country and the country’s sovereign right to regulate such investments needed consideration.