India - Partner In Growth
Welcome to the March 24, 2016 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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Govt. Budget Increased Five-Fold for Funding Start-ups
The Government has made a five-fold hike in its budget for funding start-ups in the next fiscal year, a move that is in line with Prime Minister Modi's Start-Up India initiative. According to Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, the fund will provide seed capital to 50-80 new ventures with funding up to $150,000 each. 
Cabinet: No Surcharge, Service Charge on Card Payments 
The Cabinet has approved introduction of steps for promotion of payments through cards and digital means, a move aimed at weeding out black money by changing the cash-dominated payment ecosystem. 


Easing Rules for Exim Trade
The Central Board of Excise and Customs has developed an "integrated declaration" to incorporate all the information required for import clearance by various Government agencies into the electronic format of the bill of entry. 

Govt. OKs 15 Foreign Investment Proposals Worth $1.1 Billion 
Nippon Life Insurance, Tata AIA and Aviva Life were among the 15 companies whose foreign direct investment proposals totaling $1.1 billion have been approved by the Government. "FDI inflow continues. Fast clearances make a difference," Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das tweeted.  

Market Regulator SEBI Gives FPIs More Investment Chances
The Securities and Exchange Board of India has allowed foreign portfolio investors to invest in units of real estate investment trusts, infrastructure investment trusts and Category III alternative investment funds, which typically includes hedge funds. 

PM Modi to Visit Washington for Nuclear Security Summit 
Prime Minister Modi will attend the 4th Nuclear Security Summit on March 31 and April 1, 2016 at Washington D.C. The Nuclear Security Summit process has been instrumental in focusing leaders' level attention on the global threat posed by nuclear terrorism and urgent measures required to prevent terrorists and other non-state actors from gaining access to sensitive nuclear materials and technologies. 
U.S., Canada Keen on Becoming India's Civil Aviation Partners
At India Aviation 2016 in Hyderabad this week, representatives of Canada and the U.S. expressed interest in becoming India's civil aviation partners. Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said the aviation sector should complement and contribute to India's economic growth. 

Industry Experts: India Poised to Become Tech Leader
India has all the ingredients to become a global technology leader, according to technology industry veterans. At the EmTech India event organized by MIT Technology Review and Mint, industry leaders remained bullish about Prime Minister Modi's flagship programs-Digital India, Start-up India and Make in India.  

Cisco to Invest $100 Million in India, Train 250,000 Students
Networking giant Cisco has committed $100 million over the next 18 to 24 months in Indian investment, including $40 million that will be used to fund early-stage and growth-stage companies in the country, and will train about 250,000 students by 2020. 
Private Equity Investment Hits Record $19.5 Billion
Private equity investment during the October-December period totaled $3.9 billion, taking the deal value for the year 2015 to $19.5 billion - the "best ever" for India, says a report by PwC MoneyTree India report.