The New BIT: Is It a Game of Equals?
Swamped by the claims brought by foreign investors against India, the government was forced to rethink its investment treaty obligations. The nature of settlement had turned more commercial with most of the earlier disputes settled through non-pecuniary reliefs; in contrast to the most recent settlements through an awarded compensation. The disputes and the order of claims has been far more as raised by the foreign investing partners on India, in comparison to when the Indian investor has sued a partner abroad. The design of India’s new Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), 2015 has been marked with multiple changes. These include shifting the negotiating authority to Ministry of Finance, definitional changes, inclusions and exclusions. The new BIT attempts to match the need of the times through more explicit features. It is obvious that the new BIT model is biased towards safeguarding India’s interests and has raised scepticism with India’s partners. By the way of revised model BIT, India makes it clear that it wishes to be the rule-maker rather than rule-taker in rewriting the rules of bilateral investment treaties.
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