Agriculture is a Big Deal. Any Trade Deal Should Not Mess with Indian Agriculture

By Shalini Bhutani | Commentary | September 10, 2020

The possibility of a trade deal between India and the United States (US) is being discussed again. The timing of it is predictably before the presidential elections in the US in November 2020. Trade deals have figured in President Trump’s campaign speeches, including the one at the Republican National Convention. The Trump administration has been negotiating several trade deals in the past year, clearly with an eye on the elections. The more notable ones are referred to as ‘Phase One’ deals. These fast track deals do not require congressional approval or implementation legislation, with the US President given the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)….

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An Open Letter to National Governments on ISDS and COVID-19 Measures

By CSOs | Letter | June 22, 2020

In an open letter to national governments, more than 600 civil society organisations (including Madhyam) from over 90 countries have urged the governments to take a lead in ensuring countries around the world do not face a wave of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) cases arising from actions taken to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic crisis.

Following is the full text of the letter issued on June 22, 2020:

To National Governments:

We are writing to you today to urge you to take a lead in ensuring countries around the world do not face a wave of investor-state dispute settlement cases arising from actions taken to…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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