Why India Needs to Tweak its FDI Rules

By Smitha Francis | Commentary | May 14, 2020

Reactions have come in from different quarters after the Indian Government introduced new screening rules for foreign direct investment (FDI) last month. The latest Press Note on FDI (Press Note 3, 2020) has made government approval mandatory for all foreign investments from countries with which India shares a land border. Approval has been made mandatory also for cases where the beneficial or ultimate owner of an investment into India is situated in or is a citizen of any such country. This has been aimed at preventing bargain takeovers of distressed Indian companies during the coronavirus outbreak.

India has traditionally adopted two entry routes for FDI…

An Open Letter to Gilead Demanding Affordability and Access to Remdesivir

By CSOs | Letter | March 30, 2020

In an open letter to Daniel O’Day, Chief Executive Officer of Gilead Science, more than 150 organisations (including Madhyam) and individuals have urged the US biotechnology company not to enforce exclusivity over remdesivir, an experimental drug seen as a potential treatment for COVID-19 patients. The clinical trials for remdesivir are underway in China and elsewhere in Asia to test its effectiveness in treating coronavirus infections. Since Gilead currently holds all patents for the development and production of remdesivir, the key concern is that the company should not be profiteering from the global pandemic if the drug proves effective against the coronavirus.

Following is the full…

How India Should Handle the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Biswajit Dhar | Commentary | March 26, 2020

In the face of mounting COVID-19 cases in the country, the central and most state governments have acted with alacrity and a sense of purpose to ensure that the rapid spread of the deadly virus can be controlled. The central government has taken a string of proactive measures ranging from the screening of potential carriers of the virus to spreading the message of social distancing so that the dreaded next step of the spread of the virus through community transmission can be drastically reduced. The Central government has enforced social distancing by declaring a lockdown in the entire country until mid-April.

Yet another positive step…

Whither New Integrated Policy Framework of the IMF?

By Kavaljit Singh | Commentary | February 28, 2020

Last week, Kristalina Georgieva, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, announced that the IMF is rethinking and updating its policy advice to emerging markets with an improved new integrated policy framework. In an op-ed piece in Financial Times (February 19), she wrote: “We are rethinking and updating our advice to member countries. Our goal is to provide country-specific advice on the appropriate mix of policies needed to preserve growth and financial stability. Our new “integrated policy framework” will reassess the costs and benefits of four tools — monetary policy, macroprudential policy, exchange rate interventions and capital flow measures — to help…

US-China Trade Deal Comes with Caveats

By Kavaljit Singh | Letter (FT) | January 23, 2020

Martin Wolf rightly points out that the US-China trade deal is a partial and defective truce  (January 22). The deal not only keeps in place the bulk of tariffs that were imposed on each other’s products during the trade war but repackages many commitments already made by China unilaterally or at international forums towards establishing a more market-based economy. Nevertheless, the trade deal raises two critical issues.

First, can China force its domestic companies (mostly privately owned) to buy an additional $200bn worth of goods and services from the US instead of from other trading partners with which the country has signed free…