29 June 2018
Regulatory Environment in India
India is a constitutionally democratic republic created under the Constitution of India, and a union of 29 states and seven union territories (administered by the central government). The Constitution provides for a parliamentary form of government which is federal in structure with certain unitary features. The union government is mainly composed of the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary, in which all powers are vested by the Constitution in Parliament, the Prime Minister and the Supreme Court.
- Executive – While the constitutional head of the Executive of the Union is the President, Article 74(1) of the Constitution provides that there shall be a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as its head to aid and advise the President. Therefore, the real executive power is vested in the Council of Ministers that is led by the Prime Minister, who is responsible for running the union government.
- Legislative – The Indian parliament is bicameral in nature and modelled after the Westminster system for governing the country. As per Article 79 of the Constitution of India, the council of the Parliament of the Union consists of the President and two Houses known as the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) and the House of the People (Lok Sabha). According to the Constitution, elections for the Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies should take place every five years, unless a state of emergency has been declared. The Prime Minister is elected by members of the Lok Sabha. The last general election took place in 2014 with the next one scheduled for 2019.
- Judicial – There are 24 high courts at the state/union territory level, which together with the Supreme Court at the national level, comprise the judicial system in India. High courts are instituted as constitutional courts under Article 214 of the Indian constitution, and each of them has jurisdiction over a state, a union territory or a group of states and union territories. Below the high courts is a hierarchy of subordinate courts.
The main regulatory frameworks of interest to Hong Kong businesses setting up in India are included in the following sections.