India - Partner In Growth
Welcome to the January 20, 2017 bulletin of key policy decisions and high-impact news from India, presented by the Embassy of India, in Washington D.C.
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'SEZ India' App Launched by Commerce Ministry 
The "SEZ India" mobile app has been launched by the Commerce Secretary to help SEZ units and developers find information easily and track their transactions on the SEZ Online system. With the app, SEZ developers and units can file all their transactions digitally through SEZ Online and track the status-on-the-go through the SEZ India app.

India, U.S. Agree to Partner on Regional Connectivity in Energy, Other Areas
India and the U.S. have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on promoting sustainable economic growth at the country and regional level. The two countries will work together to exchange information and experience in regional integration and connectivity, particularly in the areas of energy, trade and investment.  
Govt. OKs Listing State-Owned Insurance Firms on Stock Exchanges
The Government has given its "in principle" approval for the listing of state-owned General Insurance Companies in the stock exchanges. The shareholding of these firms will be divested from 100 percent to 75 percent in one or more tranches over a period of time. The listing is likely to yield greater transparency, better corporate governance and risk management and other benefits.

Govt. to Educate Ports, Others to Coming Trade Facilitation Agreement 
The Government plans to educate ports, airports, border areas, tier-II states and land customs stations about a global trade agreement that seeks to expedite the movement of goods and simplify customs procedures , as part of the  World Trade Organization's Trade Facilitation Agreement which is expected to come into force this month.  To start with, the Government will establish round-the-clock enquiry points for all stakeholders.  

Govt. to Add 40 More Towns to Smart Cities List
The Government will add 40 more cities by February to the list of towns it wants to develop as Smart Cities by providing funds for initiating urban reforms. The addition of 40 new cities will take the total of Smart Cities to 100. Since January of last year, the Government has announced three lists of smart cities that will get $30 million for improving their infrastructure. 
PM Modi: India Has Received $130 Billion in FDI in Past 2.5 Years
With the Government taking steps to improve the business climate, total foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in the past two-and-a-half years have touched $130 billion, Prime Minister Modi said while addressing investors at the Vibrant Gujarat summit. He said: "The FDI equity inflow in the last two financial years was 66 percent higher as compared to previous two financial years."
World Bank: Post-Demonetization, India's Growth Rate a 'Still Robust' 7%
The World Bank said India's growth for the 2016-17 fiscal year is a "still robust" 7 percent, and asserted growth would climb in following years to 7.6 and 7.8 percent. In its first report after November's demonetization, the World Bank said, "Indian growth is estimated to have decelerated to a still robust 7 percent with continued tailwinds from low oil prices and solid agricultural output."
Dec. 2016 Sees 57% Growth in Foreign Tourist Arrivals on E-Tourist Visa
A total of 162,250 foreign tourists arrived in December 2016 on the e-Tourist Visa as compared to 103,617 during December 2015, registering a growth of 56.6 percent. The U.K. (22.4%) continues to occupy the top slot followed by the U.S. (16.4%) and Russia (7.7%).

More than 24,000 Agreements Inked at Vibrant Gujarat Summit
More than 24,000 investment intention agreements were signed during the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit this month, including some big-ticket agreements worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Among the total, 133 agreements ranged in value from $150 million to $590 million each. Sectors included urban development, mineral based projects, animal husbandry, fisheries, power and oil and gas. 

Boeing Wins $11 Billion Deal to Sell Its 737 Jets in India

Boeing is going to supply another 100 of its 737 Max 8 jets to Indian airline SpiceJet, an order Boeing says is worth about $11 billion. The deal boosts Boeing's drive to expand its business in India, which is one of the world's largest and fastest growing aviation markets.