Finance & Commerce Ministry to discuss draft BIPA model tomorrow
August, 14th 2014
Officials of the finance and the commerce and industry ministries are scheduled to discuss the issues related to the draft text of the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPA) tomorrow.
"The fourth meeting of the working group will discuss the remaining provisions of the draft BIPA," an official said.
The final decision on the new model text will be put before the Union Cabinet for its approval.
Worried over frequent invocation of investment protection pacts by multi-national companies, the government had stopped negotiations of the new BIPAs and review of the existing pacts.
However, a few departments including the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) have raised objections over these pacts.
The DIPP is in favour of gradually phasing them out, saying they hurt India's interest.
They have opined that BIPAs are not serving the interest of India and damaging the country's interest. Several countries are cancelling such treaties.
Certain other departments including the commerce and telecommunications have strong reservations over various provisions of these agreements, another official said.
A working group -- comprising of officials from the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and the Department of Economic Affairs as well as other ministries -- has already held meetings to examine the utility of BIPAs.
The BIPA review talks have been put on hold following arbitration notices from foreign companies to recover investments.
Several global telecom firms, which had lost their 2G licences following a Supreme Court judgement, have slapped notices on the government citing breach of bilateral investment protection pacts.
India has so far signed BIPAs with 82 countries. Of these, 72 including those with Russia, Germany, the UK and the Netherlands have already come into force and the remaining are in the process of being enforced.