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ISSUE No. 26
February 1, 2005

A monthly electronic news bulletin from CUTS International, India, to our network of friends and professionals interested about the new happenings and proceedings of CUTS in various spheres. If you wish to unsubscribe, please scroll down to the bottom of this page for more information.










Regulatory Framework for Infrastructure Sector in India
New Delhi, India, January 14, 2005

CUTS Centre for Competition, Investment & Economic Regulation (CUTS-C-CIER), organised a one-day seminar on ‘Regulatory Framework for Infrastructure Sector in India’ in New Delhi, India, on January 14, 2005.
Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairperson, Planning Commission, emphasised upon the need for having independent regulation, especially in the case of government monopolies. This is necessary because establishing transparent systems and protecting consumer interests are the major responsibilities of any independent economic regulator.
More than 100 participants from across the country, representing different groups of stakeholders including the Planning Commission; regulators; policy makers; civil society organisations; diplomats; academia and media, participated in the seminar. Scott Jacobs, a noted US- based expert on regulatory issues, also shared his experiences from across several developing countries in Asia.

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Budgeting for Competition
The Economic Times, January 08, 2005

Fiscal and other related policies, among nearly all economic policies affecting the financial sector, have a strong co-relationship with markets, and how they can become more (or less) competitive, says Pradeep S Mehta, Secretary-General, CUTS International.
For the forthcoming budget of India, Finance Minister, P Chidambaram, has promised to look into various issues, to ensure that it reflects the resolve of the National Common Minimum Programme, to promote better competition in the market place.
How can he do it? Firstly, by launching a rolling programme for a ‘competition audit’ of all such policies, which are creating anti-competitive outcomes. Secondly, on a prima facie basis, to ensure that the budget takes progressive decisions to ensure that competition prevails

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Project Launch Meeting: WTO Doha Round & South Asia: Linking Civil Society with Trade Negotiations
Colombo, Sri Lanka, March 9-10, 2005

CUTS Centre for International Trade, Economics & Environment (CUTS-CITEE), in association with South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics & Environment (SAWTEE), and supported by NOVIB (OXFAM, Netherlands), is organising the launch meeting of the Project: WTO Doha Round & South Asia: Linking Civil Society with Trade Negotiations. The meeting will be held at Colombo, Sri Lanka, March 9-10, 2005

The project has been taken up on the basis that the outcome of the Doha Round will have significant implications on international trade and national development. This is more so for developing countries, as international trade is increasingly linked with livelihoods and associated national development (poverty reduction) strategies. Therefore, it is important for South Asian countries to have better common negotiating positions in the ongoing Doha Round of negotiations.

Given this context, the project will focus on the following five key elements of the July Framework Agreement, on which the Doha Round of negotiations will progress: agriculture; non-agricultural market access; development dimensions; services; and trade facilitation.

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Project Launch Meeting: Grassroots Reachout & Networking in India on Trade & Economics (GRANITE)
Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, February 24-27, 2005

CUTS Centre for International Trade, Economics & Environment (CITEE) is going to organise the launch  meeting-cum-first training seminar under the GRANITE project, at Harish Chandra Mathur-Rajasthan Institute of Public Administration (HCM-RIPA), Jaipur, on February 24-27, 2005. The project endeavours towards “Creating long-term capacity of grassroots civil society organisations (CSOs), and local media to address complex issues of globalisation and the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and their relationship with economic development and governance in India, with a special emphasis on two sectors, i.e. agriculture and textiles & clothing, keeping in focus women and the marginalised sections of society”.

The set of nodal persons, programme coordinators of project-partner organisations, from selected eight states of the country, along with CUTS-CITEE personnel, will participate in this launch meeting and will also undergo intensive four-day training to build their understanding on complex issues of globalisation and the WTO. Apart from specific issues, this training seminar will include sessions on fund raising, communication, report writing, press release writing, as well as advocacy and representation skills.

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The Launch Meeting of the Project “South-South Trade & Investment Cooperation: Exploring IBSA Initiative
Johannesburg, South Africa, February 15-16, 2005

CUTS Centre for International Trade, Economics & Environment (CUTS-CITEE) is organising the launch meeting of the project “South-South Trade & Investment Co-operation: Exploring IBSA Initiative” at Johannesburg, South Africa on February 15-16, 2005.

The event is designed to involve business representatives, governments, civil society representatives and academics, primarily from India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA), in a one-day meeting, to deliberate on the current and future direction of trade and investment promotion amongst IBSA countries, and provide inputs for the successful implementation of the project.

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Towards a Functional Competition Policy for India (FunComp Project): Outreach Seminars in Various Indian Cities
India, February 3 –21, 2004

CUTS is currently implementing a project entitled ‘Towards a Functional Competition Policy for India (FunComp Project)’. The main output of the project is a report comprising 22 chapters, covering systemic as well as sectoral issues. The report would be released in a two-day international conference: ‘Moving the Competition Policy Agenda in India’ to be held in New Delhi, India on January 31 and February 1, 2005. Following the release of the FunComp Report, one-day outreach seminars will be organised in selected Indian cities from February 3-21, 2005. The selected cities are New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Lucknow. The purpose of these outreach seminars is to create awareness among local participants, including the media, about competition policy and economic regulation.

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Seminar on “Advocacy & Networking for Child Rights”
Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, February 03, 2005

CUTS Centre for Consumer Action, Research & Training (CART), jointly with ‘Save the Children’-UK, Jaipur, will organise a seminar on “Advocacy & Networking for Child Rights” in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India on February 3, 2005 to kick-start the activities of ‘Hamara Manch’ (Our Forum) in the State of Rajasthan. Alka Kala, Principal Secretary of Department of Women & Child Development (DWCD), Government of Rajasthan will inaugurate the seminar.

Selected representatives from different stakeholder groups i.e. government departments, inter-governmental organisations, donor agencies, NGOs, children’s groups, will participate in the seminar. Children and a socio-cultural group called Goonj will perform a few cultural items, highlighting the plight of the children in the State.

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Investor Education and Protection Programme
Rajasthan, India, January 17 to March 23, 2004

CUTS Centre for Consumer Action, Research & Training (CUTS-CART), in association with the Ministry of Company Affairs (MoCA), is organising the Investor Education and Protection Programme, in six districts of Rajasthan: Jaipur, Bhilwara, Kota, Nagaur, Udaipur and Sikar, during January 17 to March 23, 2004. The project primarily envisages the building of a network, of investor protection organisations, at the grassroots, by identifying potential individuals and organisations working at the grassroots, and building their capacities through training workshops. These workshops will create a platform for the small investors and investor protection organisations to interact with members of the stock exchange, representatives from the regulatory authorities, and other subject experts, who will be invited to the workshops as resource persons.

The launch meeting of the project was organised on January 17, 2005. Under the project, in these six districts, two-day awareness workshops and an open-house will be organised, in which there will be at least 150 participants.  This information will be released in local newspapers. Media persons will be involved during and after the workshop.

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International Conference on “Moving the Competition Policy Agenda in India”
 New Delhi, India, January 31 & February 1, 2005

CUTS Centre for Competition, Investment & Economic Regulation (CUTS-C-CIER), Jaipur, India organised a two-day international conference “Moving the Competition Policy Agenda in India” at New Delhi, India, on January 31 and February 1, 2005. CUTS has undertaken a research project to develop a Functional Competition Policy for India. The project report comprises 22 chapters covering systemic as well as sectoral issues and endeavours to assist the Government of India in effecting a Competition Policy that is ‘implementable’.

The conference was organised to release the report, and to facilitate deliberations on its findings and recommendations. The meeting was structured in the form of a peer review of the Indian competition scenario, to draw out a framework to implement the Competition Policy Agenda in India.

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A National Meeting of the project “Sustainable Production in the South as a Tool for Enhanced Market Access in the North”
New Delhi, India, January 24, 2005

CUTS Centre for International Trade, Economics & Environment (CUTS-CITEE) organised a National Meeting for the project “Sustainable Production in the South as a Tool for Enhanced Market Access in the North” at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India on January 24, 2005.

The meeting presented the findings of the leather project, which attempts to understand the utility of eco-labels/environment measures for increasing India’s leather footwear exports. Speakers elaborated on trade-related concerns arising from eco-labelling requirements, and spoke on the importance of eco-labelling.

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Road Safety Programme
Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, January 15, 2005

CUTS Centre for Consumer Action, Research & Training (CUTS-CART) organised a month-long ongoing campaign on “Road Safety” from December 15, 2004 to January 15, 2005. The programmes, which were conducted are:

  • A Road Safety awareness camp was organised outside the railway station, Jaipur. In this, cycle-rickshaw pullers were distributed informative material related to road safety and traffic rules;

  • A drawing and poster competition was organised in which around 150 students of different age groups participated, innovating road safety messages through posters/drawings; and

  • A rally on road safety was organised comprising around 150 students of different age groups of Bright Buds School, Jaipur. All were enthusiastic and energetic, and raising slogans on road safety issues.

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  • Unpacking Transparency in Government Procurement

    During the 1996 Singapore Ministerial, WTO member states established a Working Group on Transparency in Government Procurement (TGP). For these reasons, and given the need to promote understanding and awareness of TGP issues, CUTS-CITEE embarked upon the IWOGDA II-TGP research project. A number of experts were brought together, to probe a number of issues surrounding TGP, particularly in developing countries. The papers produced form the basis for this publication, which has been complemented by a synthesis report by Ron Watermeyer.


  • Enhancing Collective Export Competitiveness on Textiles and Clothing: A Study of the Select South Asian Countries

    This paper aims at examining the possibility of co-operation in the South Asian region to make the success story of Textiles & Clothing (T&C) boom sustainable in future. The objective is to enhance collective competitiveness in T&C exports, through co-operation among the countries in the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC), for better realisation of market access potentials in the EU and the US.

  • Movement of Natural Persons and South Asian Countries

    South Asian countries, particularly India, are known protagonists of liberalisation of services trade, under Mode 4. This research report focuses on the significance of Mode 4 for South Asia, the kinds of barriers faced by these countries in supplying services through Mode 4, and how the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) negotiations can be used to advance their export interests, under this particular mode of service supply. It focuses on four countries – Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.


  • ReguLetter  (July-Sept, 04)

The newsletter, covers the business opposition of competition law in various countries, among other things. It focuses on micro, macro, and corporate and sectoral issues. It also discusses the Brazilian experience on the independence of regulatory agencies, competition policy and trade liberalisation as well as Namibian competition law.

  • Economiquity (Oct-Dec 04)

This issue of Economiquity (Oct-Dec, 04) besides covering regular news items on trade and development issues, focuses on trade facilitation, the emerging situation in textile and clothing trade after the demise of the multi-fibre agreement (MFA), and the much publicised Airbus Boeing-trade dispute between the European Union (EU) and the United States (US).

  • CUTS in Action (Oct-Dec 04)

This issue highlights the International Symposium on the July Package, trade facilitation and transparency in government procurement. It also analyses the competition policy, development and the multilateral trading system. In addition, the newsletter assimilates the ongoing and future projects of the organisation.


  • Trade Remedial Measures

    India tops the list of countries imposing or initiating anti-dumping actions in the WTO. In this context, this monograph provides answers to all the basic issues pertaining to trade remedial measures, which require a wider understanding and dissemination.

Trade Law Brief

  • GSP Dispute: Winning the Battle, Losing the War

    The generalised system of preferences (GSP) in international trade, is a programme to accelerate the rates of economic growth of developing countries. It was recently scrutinised by the Appellate Body (AB) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), in the matter of India’s dispute against the European Commission (EC). India claims victory, in terms of being successful, in demonstrating that the EC’s drug arrangements, under which it provided additional concessions to Pakistan, were inconsistent with the GSP programme. The EC feels that the AB has not invalidated its GSP programme per se. This trade law brief critically examines some of the aspects of this important case.

Advocacy Document

  • Improving Labour Standards Through Development: A Positive Agenda

    The objective of this paper is to advocate against the inclusion of social cause – sanctions on trade, in response to violations of labour standards. This paper has argued that poverty reduction should be the foremost way of improving core labour standards.


Competition breaks cartels
The Hindu Business Line, January 12, 2005
Cartels operate across the economy, particularly in the intermediate goods and services sector. They hike production costs, thus making finished goods less competitive. The Indian Finance Minister, P Chidambaram, could launch a `competition audit' across all sectors to weed out such unhealthy practices….

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'Time right for competition policy'
The Hindu Business Line, February 02, 2005

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Montek for Clarity in Regulatory Framework
Business Standard, January 14, 2005

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HIPC Completion Point in Sight But….
Zambia Daily Mail, Zambia, January 5, 2005

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