Department of Public Enterprises
Permanent Machinery of Arbitration (PMA) Cell
After considering a note dated 08-05-1987 prepared by the Department of Legal Affairs the Committee of Secretaries in its meeting held on 26-06-1987 suggested that a Permanent Machinery of Arbitration should be set up in DPE(erstwhile BPE) to settle all commercial disputes (excluding disputes on income -tax, customs and excise) between PSEs inter se and between a PSE and a Government Department. Accordingly, DPE prepared a note which was concurred in by the Department of Expenditure and the Department of Legal Affairs. The same was approved by the Cabinet in its meeting held on 24-02-1989. Thereafter, Permanent Machinery of Arbitration (PMA) was set up in the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) for resolving commercial disputes between CPSEs inter-se as well as between a CPSE and a Central Government Department / Ministry / Bank / Port Trust (excluding disputes on income -tax, customs and excise) in 1989. Later on in 2004 disputes concerning to railways were also excluded from the purview of PMA.
2. The disputes are required to be referred to DPE for its reference to the Arbitrator of PMA. Secretary, DPE on being satisfied with the prima facie existence of a dispute, refers the dispute to the Arbitrator of the PMA for arbitration. The Arbitration Act 1996 is not applicable in these cases. No outside lawyer is allowed to appear on behalf of either party for presenting/defending the cases. But the parties can take help of their own full time law officers.
3. The Arbitrator issues notices to parties concerned for submission of facts of the case and their claims and counter claims. The parties argue their case before the Arbitrator. Based on written records and oral evidence, the Arbitrator publishes an award. An appeal against the award of the Arbitrator can be made before the Secretary, Ministry of Law, for setting aside or revision of the award. The decision of the Secretary, Ministry of Law is final and binding on the parties. No further appeal can be made in any Court of Law/Tribunal against the decision. The status of cases dealt with in PMA Cell is as under:-