Letters to the editor: Call back the 1997 saviours

Updated: Jun 26 2013, 10:24am hrs
Looking at the way the rupee has been allowed to crumble, I couldnt resist brooding over the excellent fashion in which our regulators saved our currency when all the Asian currencies went for a toss, including the Chinese yuan to a certain extent, during the Asian financial (currency) crisis in 1997. While the IMF had to pump in millions of dollars to bail out and stabilise the currencies of Thailand, South Korea and Indonesia, and had to do a lot of patch-up work to the currencies of the other Asian nations, the rupee withstood the onslaught, needing no external support to sustain its sheen. Even our regulators received rich encomium and accolades from the IMF and other international supportive financial bodies for keeping the rupee insulated. Against such a backdrop, we now feel really sad that the rupee has turned unshaped beyond recognition and continues to fall with supersonic speed. Does this mean that our regulators are unable to take the right step Has the time come when our so-called financial intelligentsia have to go back to the basics or call those who contained the fall of the rupee in 1997

Tharcius S Fernando

Chennai

Utility model protection

Recently there was a news report in FE: Pfizer, domestic pharma body lock horns over Indian IP laws. Given the fact that the Indian consumer has been, for long now, expressing the need to accelerate the production of affordable generic drugs, the fear of global drug giants fails to humanely acknowledge the peculiarity of the pressing needs of the end-consumer in developing nations. This is not to undermine the significance of legally recognising incremental innovations through the introduction of utility model (UM) protection in India. Way back in July 2011, the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) in a consultative paper had in fact favoured the introduction of UM protection in India. Relevantly, where the contracting parties to the Paris Convention decide to foresee UM protection in their national laws, they are free to determine the conditions for, as well as the scope, substance, limitations and duration of UM protection. However, the absence of any substantive minimum standards of UM protection via any international platform, which judiciously addresses the concern of the consumers in the developing nations, is responsible for the delay in the design of national UM systems around the world. The moot question remains: Whether the time is ripe for tightening the scope of existing compulsory licensing mechanism or, in the alternative, plainly legalising UM protection in India through an enabling legislation

Sunil Arya

New Delhi