Boost for international finance centre at BKC in Mumbai

  • Ketaki Ghoge, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Feb 02, 2016 01:08 IST
HT had reported earlier that state government has submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Commerce to notify BKC as a finance SEZ. (File photo)

In the coming three months, the city is likely to get one of the first international arbitration centres in the country, an integral part of the proposed international finance centre at the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC).

The first meeting of the task force on the IFC set up by the state and chaired by Union minister of state for finance, Jayant Sinha, which was held at the state secretariat on Monday, ticked off the some of the priorities for the centre.

Setting up an international arbitration centre and calling of global tenders to prepare a master plan for 50 acres, already notified by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) for a finance SEZ, got a go-ahead at the meet.

The master plan prepared by the selected global firm is expected to be ready by April-end. It will detail out mini-sectors and activities within the 50 acres.

The meeting on Monday was chaired by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis with Sinha participating through live video conference, along with other members, including BJP MP Poonam Mahajan, urban development secretary Nitin Kareer, MMRDA metropolitan commissioner UPS Madan, officer on special duty to CM and convenor of the task force, Kaustubh Dhavse.

The Mumbai International Arbitration Centre, a not-for-profit, will function as per Indian laws, and will have a panel of six to seven judges, along with arbitrators. It will first function out of South Mumbai and then get shifted to BKC.

“One of the hurdles in getting foreign investment is lack of easy corporate dispute resolution in the country.

One the other side, Indian firms and multinationals operating feel this vacuum and opt for arbitration at centres such as Singapore, London. For instance, India is the third largest contributor of cases at Singapore International Arbitration Centre,” said an official, working on the IFC project.

As such setting up of the centre is being seen as the first goal post for the IFC.

“We had the first meeting of the taskforce, and if things go as per our plans, we should have the IFC operational, with some tenants, regulatory and taxation regime in place, at BKC by 2019,” said Mahajan, deputy chairperson of the taskforce.

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