The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Jaitley laments abuse of laws

New Delhi, Feb. 26: Laws must have a real nexus with ground realities as there is no law that is foolproof and incapable of abuse, says law minister Arun Jaitley.

Speaking at a national conference on economic legislations organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Jaitley said, “The legislative process is a fairly thankless exercise at times. It is a regrettable fact that there is no law which is foolproof and cannot be abused at all.”

Defending some of the economic legislations recently passed by the government, the minister stressed that free trade must be fair trade and all laws must entirely be in this direction.

“Trade must not be interfered with malpractices and sheer delays in processes which are well-known in India,” he said.

Elaborating on the securitisation law, Jaitley said, “It will be at the discretion of the lender to differentiate between a wilful defaulter and an honest failure. There can be no rules prescribed by the legislature for the same.”

He also said that implementation of this new law will result in defaulters chasing the creditors unlike the earlier situation where the creditors continuously chased the debtors. The aim of this legislation is to ensure that wilful defaulters do not go scot-free and prevent the banks and financial institutions from turning sick.

Sharing his views on the insolvency laws, Jaitley said, “The Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction mechanism has not succeeded because it was structurally a defective law with its entry starting at a time when the network became negative.” He emphasised the need to detect industrial sickness right at the beginning so that the revival becomes easier.

Giving a comparative analysis between the competition law and monopolies and restrictive trade practices, Jaitley said the purpose of this new legislation was to promote competition and curb the use of dominance.

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