Has Demonetization Achieved its Stated Objectives?

By Kavaljit Singh | Commentary | September 13, 2017

On August 30, 2017, the Reserve Bank of India released its Annual Report for 2016-17 which revealed that 98.8 percent of scrapped currency notes have come back into the Indian banking system between November 8, 2016 – when the demonetization was announced – and June 30, 2017. This mind-blowing statistics has put a serious question mark over the efficacy of demonetization move because it was anticipated by the government that a large portion of scrapped currency notes might not come back into the banking system.

On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetization move under which high-value currency notes of…

Why State Governments Must Engage with RCEP

By Shalini Bhutani | Commentary | August 3, 2017
RCEP India Meeting

India played host to the 19th Round of talks for the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) from 17-28th July 2017. The talks were held in Hyderabad – the state capital of Telangana, over 1,500 kms from the political capital in New Delhi. But the moot question is – are all the States in the country united in their support of the Centre’s push for new rules of ‘free trade’ in this mega-regional free trade agreement (FTA)?

The Kerala state government was the first to raise its concern about the adverse impact of the RCEP on the agriculture sector. But what about other state…

Why India Should Rethink Its Approach to RCEP Negotiations

By Kavaljit Singh | Commentary | July 18, 2017
25022487 - container ship

The 19th round of negotiations for Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will be hosted by India in Hyderabad from 18-28 July 2017. About 700 officials from 16 member-countries of RCEP would gather at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre to thrash out new rules for cross-border trade and investment with the aim of deepening regional economic integration.

The RCEP is a proposed mega regional trade pact being negotiated between ASEAN and their 6 FTA partner-countries (Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand) since 2012. It covers a wide range of issues including trade in goods, trade in services, investment, intellectual property rights, competition policy,…

Investing in Alternative Dispute Settlement

By Shalini Bhutani | Commentary | July 3, 2017
32769551 - dump truck at bauxite quarry

State governments in India are pre-occupied with creating a favourable environment for attracting investment. But before opening doors to investors, they ought to be equally engrossed with preparing themselves for situations when investors, whether Indian or foreign, raise disputes. The dispute settlement mechanism being pushed in free trade agreements (FTAs) and bilateral investment treaties (BITs) is a marked shift from traditional adjudication processes.

Governments at the Centre and in the States must urgently invest in building their own capacity to handle the new generation of international investment arbitration.

World Bank Support

International financial institutions (IFIs) play a role in advocating a certain kind of dispute settlement in…

The RCEP Negotiations: From One Round to Another to Another…

By Shalini Bhutani | Commentary | June 5, 2017
RECP

It is not without reason that a session for the negotiation of trade rules is referred to as a round. It can go on in circular motion, sometimes with little or no substantive progress. So it may seem after the last round of talks on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). For the sticky issues remain and the details of progress, if any, are not available to the public. CSOs often have to go around in circles seeking details.

Manila

The 17th Round of RCEP talks were held in Manila through 2-12 May 2017. The 30th Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)…