Creating a vibrant ecosystem for institutional arbitration is one of the foremost priorities of the government, which is committed to providing ease of doing business, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here on Sunday.
"Creation of a vibrant ecosystem for institutional arbitration is one of the foremost priorities of our government. It has recently introduced major amendments to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act to ensure that the arbitration process is easy, timely and hassle-free," Modi said at the closing session of a three-day international conference on National Initiative Towards Strengthening Arbitration and Enforcement in India.
"These amendments have brought our arbitration process in tune with global best practices. This has given us an opportunity to emerge as a leading arbitration jurisdiction," he said.
Modi said that India should be promoted globally as an arbitration hub.
"India also has a large number of retired judges, engineers, and scientists who can function as competent arbitrators in various fields... There is need to develop specialised arbitration bar associations. We also need professionally run arbitral institutions which can deliver international standards of services at reasonable costs to businesses in India," he said.
Modi pointed out the challenges, which include availability of good quality, globally recognised arbitrators, observance of professional conduct, ensuring neutrality and timely completion of proceedings and cost effectiveness.
He said the availability of quality arbitration mechanisms is an integral component of ease of doing business.
"Hong Kong and Singapore have emerged as preferred arbitration destinations. As popular business hubs, they also rank high in the levels of ease of doing business. Thus, availability of quality arbitration mechanisms is an integral component of ease of doing business, to which our government is committed," he said.
He stressed the need to "simultaneously facilitate an ecosystem for alternate dispute resolution", including arbitration, mediation and conciliation.
"An enabling alternate dispute resolution ecosystem is a national priority for India," Modi said, adding that such resolution of disputes "preserve personal and business relationships that might otherwise be damaged by the adversarial process".
"This will provide additional comfort to investors and businesses. More importantly, it will also ease the case-load on Indian courts," he said.
Modi said there should be deliberations on ways and means to supplement the efforts of the judiciary and arbitration mechanisms.
"Mediation is one such mechanism, the potential of which has not been utilized much in the country," Modi said.