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

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Is India’s Agricultural Export Policy Ambiguous?

The agricultural export policy was announced in 2018 to transform the ecosystem of India’s agricultural exports. However, the country’s agricultural exports have faced several policy-induced restrictions. This article explores the ambiguities in the policy by citing empirical data on trade policy instruments used for export restrictions.

Foreign Trade Policy 2023

The Government of India came up with a new Foreign Trade Policy 2023 with an ambitious export target of $2 trillion by 2030. Against this backdrop, the paper appraises the key features of the new FTP, including the analysis of revamped schemes like focus on e-commerce exports, anchoring districts as export hubs, simplifying policy framework for dual-use material, and enhancing focus on trade facilitation. Elucidating each chapter of the FTP, it concludes that the policy remains below the expectations of the trade community and suggests key areas of improvement for this ever-evolving and responsive FTP.

National Medical Devices Policy, 2023

The union government introduced the National Medical Devices Policy, 2023 to augment the capacity, capabilities and competence of the domestic medical devices manufacturing industry. However, the policy has many lacunae and missing links, which could undermine the aims to foster a strong domestic medical devices manufacturing. There is a need for reform, in line with the existing policy initiatives and to constitute a separate law and regulatory body for the industry. The policy needs to enhance the accessibility by changing the existing procurement system for the public health sector. It further needs to scale up domestic manufacturing capabilities, through production-linked incentives, to ensure affordable medical devices for all citizens.

Examining the Law and Economics Paradox of India

Law and the Economy in a Young Democracy: India 1947 and Beyond by Tirthankar Roy and Anand V Swamy, University of Chicago Press, 2022; pp 272, $51.75.

Under-reporting of Income by Wealthy Indians

The affluent Indians often complain about the “excessive” income taxation. Yet, very few of them figure among the top income taxpayers. This paradoxical situation results from the relatively low incomes reported by wealthy groups. On average, the wealthier a family is, the smaller the income it reports relative to its wealth.

‘Minimum Export Price’ Caps on Agricultural Exports

The policymakers in India have constantly endeavoured to promote agricultural exports; however, certain agricultural products have been subject to extensive use of export restrictions as well. In this context, the article attempts to appraise the various trade policy instruments with special reference to “minimum export price” and examine how it has become a redundant trade policy tool. The case of onions is used to elucidate the exorbitant misuse of MEP by unscrupulous business fi rms and suggests a road map for policy reforms. Agriculture has been an integral part of the Indian economy for centuries. Despite the rapid growth of other sectors, it continues to be the primary source of livelihood for a majority of the country’s population (Mathur et al 2006). India is the world’s second largest producer and 10th largest exporter of agricultural products. With available production surplus in key agricultural products, the Government of

The National Logistics Policy, 2022

The Government of India brought the National Logistics Policy, 2022 envisioning improvement in India’s logistics infrastructure and services. However, the policy has several incongruities, which, if addressed, can make a signifi cant improvement in India’s logistics functioning, including enhanced ease of doing business.

Development of Enterprises and Services Hub Bill, 2022

The draft Development of Enterprises and Services Hub Bill, 2022 refl ects signifi cant policy ambivalence and contributes to legal ambiguities for business fi rms. It is not only incoherent with other fl agship schemes of the Government of India but also is oblivious to the evolving global trade realities, thus exposing the potential risks of policy-induced distortion(s).

Container Crisis and High Freight Costs

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent worldwide lockdown(s) have adversely affected the functioning of global supply chains. The restrictions on navigation of vessels across the global supply chains resulted in acute shortages of the containers, subsequently escalating ocean freight rates. High freight rates have severely affected India’s exports competitiveness in the global markets. The crisis has exposed the lacklustre approach of the government in dealing with container shortages, leading to skyrocketing freight rates.

 

Burgeoning Edible Oil Imports and Price Shock(s)

The ever-increasing import bill of edible oil has become a chronic problem for India with edible oil being the third largest among imported goods in India, next only to crude oil and gold. There are structural issues in production, productivity, and trade of edible oils. These energy-rich crops are grown in energy-starved conditions where more than 70% of the area under cultivation is rain-fed and often cultivated with low-quality seeds in a fragmented landholding and outdated agri-management practices. It further studies the trade liberalisation measures of a liberal trade policy regime, lower import duties, duty-exemptions under free trade agreements, and changes that India has witnessed in consumption as well as retail of edible oil.

 

COVID-19 and Contractual Disputes in India

The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed a catena of contractual disputes. The paper synthesises the Indian Contract Act and relevant case laws to present a legal position on force majeure, frustration of contract and contractual gaps, in the context of COVID-19. Using the economic analysis of law, it examines contractual disputes from various sectors, including power, construction and real estate, rental, event management and hospitality, and analyses these disputes from legal- and economic-efficiency points of view. Where contracts are not a good instrument for achieving equitable distribution of economic gains and losses, public policy is better suited to address equity and other related issues arising from long-term contracts.

 

Restricting Third Country Imports

The Government of India has rolled out new rules to restrict third country imports routed through free trade agreement partners for availing preferential tariff benefits. However, the regulatory and compliance-related burdens of the new rules will burden both import-dependent and value chain led export-oriented sectors, and make them uncompetitive in global markets.

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