India - Partner In Growth
Welcome to the October 22, 2015 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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PM Modi: We Have Initiated Reforms in Banking Sector 
Prime Minister Modi said the Government has initiated a series of banking reforms including re-capitalizating state-owned banks, changing rules for hiring top management and starting paperless transactions. "The banking sector is seeing changes. Mobile banking is coming up. Banking will be premises-less and paperless," he said. 

Govt. to Give One-Time Funds to Speed Up Highway Projects 

The Government has approved one-time financial assistance to speed up national highway projects in the country. "This will be a tripartite agreement between the funding agency, the NHAI and the builder," Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. 


Defense Procurement Policy to be Released by End of Year
Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar said that the Defense Procurement Policy will be announced by the end of November or beginning of December. "We are working deeply with the industry. Done all the exercise and before the end of the year it would happen," Parrikar said.

Govt. Allows Trading of Access Spectrum 
The Government has decided to allow trading of access spectrum. Spectrum trading shall be allowed only between two access service providers, holding Cellular Mobile Telephone Service License, and all access spectrum bands earmarked for Access Services by the Licensor will be treated as tradable spectrum bands. 

Reserve Bank Sets Aside $308 Million to Push Financial Inclusion 
The Reserve Bank of India has announced the merger of two funds to create a new Financial Inclusion Fund with a funding of $308 million to support developmental and promotional activities for expanding reach of banking services. 

Boeing Closed More Defense Deals with India than Whole of U.S. in Past 50 Years
"Yes indeed! Boeing has closed more defense deals with India than whole of the U.S. combined in the last fifty years," James McNerney, chairman of The Boeing Company, said.  "Manufacturing is a closer reality in India than most people think. We will be soon evaluating making aircraft parts like wings and fuselage here." he added.

Minister of State for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy, Piyush Goyal, participated in the Climate and Clean Energy Investment Forum 2015 hosted jointly by the US Department of State, Georgetown University and Google on October 20-21, 2015. The Minister emphasized the need for long-term low-cost funding and highlighted India's huge capital investment requirements estimated at around US$ 250 billion over the next five to six years to meet its renewable energy goals.

E&Y: India Most Attractive Country for Investment
India has been named the most attractive country for investment in a survey of more than 500 global investors published by accounting firm Ernst & Young. Thirty-two percent of the 505 executives questioned said India was their favored market for investment, with China second at 15 percent, followed by Southeast Asia, Brazil and North America. 

Amazon Expects India to Grow Faster than Japan, Germany, U.K.  
Amazon expects India to overtake Japan, Germany and the U.K. to become its largest overseas market in addition to becoming the quickest to reach $10 billion in gross merchandise value in the company's history. "I can't project the year but in the next few years India will be the second-biggest market for us (after the U.S.) - there is no doubt," said Diego Piacentini, senior vice president for international business at Amazon.

Venture capital investments this year have hit an all-time high. During Jan.-Sept. 2015, 323 deals were closed, attracting an investment of $1.4 billion. According to data from Venture Intelligence, a research company, investments made in first nine months of 2015 have crossed the previous historical high of $1.2 billion (304 deals) recorded in 2014.