ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Biswajit DharSubscribe to Biswajit Dhar

Foreign Direct Investment Caps in India and Corporate Control Mechanisms

While India has generally been following an open door policy in foreign direct investment, a few areas are still subject to caps on fdi. The need to retain a degree of control over the operations of the investee companies in Indian hands is one of the justifications for the caps. In early 2010, the government specified the methodology for calculating indirect foreign equity in order to remove ambiguities in calculating the extent of fdi in a company. This paper argues that the percentage of shares or proportion of directors on the board does not necessarily represent the extent of control and therefore more direct intervention would be required if the policy objectives are to be achieved.

Economic Development and Patenting Behaviour

The capacity of countries to take advantage of the patent system bears a relationship with their stage of development. This paper explores the relationship between economic development and domestic and foreign patenting behaviour. The study uses a unique data set covering 55 countries and 24 years. It determines the association of domestic patenting with gross domestic product per capita and openness to trade, and the association of foreign patenting with these variables and with foreign direct investment as a proportion of gdp.

Agricultural Trade and Protection

Various perspectives on the liberalisation of trade in agriculture have come forward after the Uruguay round of negotiations at the World Trade Organisation. This article critiques the rationale for liberalising agricultural trade in the light of recent literature in trade theory. It also explores the need for "strategic" interventions by developing countries and deals with how these mediations differ from protectionist policies.

Data Exclusivity in Pharmaceuticals: Little Basis, False Claims

Article 39.3 of the World Trade Organisation's agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights stipulates that undisclosed pharmaceutical test data should remain undisclosed in order to prevent its unfair commercial use. Explaining the historical context and the textual interpretation of Article 39.3, this paper examines whether such data exclusivity is justified. While the pursuit of data exclusivity may be viable for the pharmaceutical industry in the US and EU, the situation is altogether different for developing countries such as India, where pursuing data exclusivity could prove to be detrimental to its pharmaceutical industry.

Reflections on a TRIPS-Compliant Law

The three amendments to the Indian Patents Act were made alongside intense debates which emphasised that with the rights of the patent holders strengthened under TRIPS, there is an urgent need to balance this situation with more effective instruments so as to ensure that the public interest issues, as for example, access to medicines at affordable prices are also addressed. The global community took a major step towards bringing about a balance through the 2001 Doha Declaration on TRIPS Agreement and Public Health. While the third amendment of the Indian Patents Act takes steps to address some of the more difficult issues in TRIPS, there remains a need to revisit the key provisions of the Patents Act keeping in view the imperatives of access to medicines.

Substantive Patent Law Treaty

This paper analyses some of the provisions of a draft substantive patent law treaty (SPLT) that were considered in the Tenth Session of the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents, WIPO in 2004. A key question in this regard is whether or not the harmonisation of patent laws, through the adoption of the SPLT, marks a step towards introducing a TRIPS-plus regime in terms of the obligations of signatory countries. It finds that flexibilities currently available under TRIPS could be considerably eroded if patent harmonisation initiated under the WIPO Patent Agenda moves towards higher and stricter standards. Clear linkages between the TRIPS and SPLT negotiating processes have not been established at the multilateral or domestic level in developing countries and there is an urgent need for these nations to make their presence felt at the SPLT negotiations.

Third Amendment to 1970 Patent Act

The proposed third amendment to the 1970 Patent Act goes much further than required to fulfil India's WTO obligations and does not have provisions that are necessary to strike a balance between the rights and obligations of the patent holder. This article makes suggestions to redress the imbalances in the bill that is now under consideration.

Doha: A Developing Country Perspective

The pressure exerted by the developing countries was a notable feature of the Doha ministerial conference of the member countries of WTO. The declaration on TRIPs agreement and public health adopted by the conference was the most conspicuous outcome of such pressure. On the other hand, the inclusion of five new issues in the negotiating mandate of WTO was a reminder that the developing countries could expect their pressure to go so far and no further. In making their preparations for the negotiations on the work programme agreed upon at Doha, the developing countries have to bear this reality in mind.

A Critical Budget

The Budget for 2001-2002 was particularly critical in view of the quite dismal picture of the economy painted in the government's own Economic Survey. It was important for the government to give policy directions through the budget in order that the economy can meet the challenges that it faces in the integrating world economy. How far has this been done?

Complying with TRIPs Commitment-EMR versus Product Patent Regime

Of the two options available to India for meeting its obligations under the TRIPs agreement the 'exclusive marketing rights' (EMR) route and bringing forward introduction of the product patent regime from the year 2005 to 2000 the EMR route, which is what the government has chosen to adopt in the legislation now before parliament, has significant adverse implications so that it would have been preferable to have opted for the second option of advancing the product patent regime without availing of the transitional period provided under the TRIPs agreement.

FEMA A Closer Look

Biswajit Dhar Mritiunjoy Mohanty The Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) represents major departures from past policies in two important respects. First, it can he seen as an initial step towards capital account convertibility. Second, the government seems to have finally decided to give up alt intentions of regulating foreign capital in the country.

Strengthening the External Sector-What the Budget Foretells

This paper considers how the 1998-99 Budget has addressed the imperatives fating the country's external sector in the present phase of its increasing integration with the global economy, While discussing the various mechanisms the government could have brought into play to promote exports, the authors argue that increasing the competitiveness of domestic production is the key to improving the country's export performance. This can be brought about by a combination of two sets of initiatives: providing effective infrastructural facilities and strengthening the science and technology infrastructure to generate technologies for industry. An analysis of the budget from these standpoints shows that the budgetary proposals are not adequate to meet the requirements of the domestic productive sectors.


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