Welcome to the October 30, 2014 bulletin of key policy decisions and high-impact news from India, presented by the Embassy of India, in Washington D.C.
Key Policy Decisions

Eighty-eight Infrastructure, Industrial Projects Worth $45 Billion OK'd 

Some 88 infrastructure and industrial projects worth $45 billion have been approved over the past few months. Sectors include power, steel, airports and oil and gas. The power sector saw the maximum number of projects cleared.   

India, 20 Others Set Up Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank


India along with 20 other countries signed an agreement to become founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to aid infrastructure development in the Asian region. The bank, to be headquartered in Beijing, is expected to be operational by next year.


Pradhan: Oil Ministry to Overhaul Exploration Policy
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan plans to overhaul the oil exploration policy to attract investors, spur energy output and revive the economy. The new regime aims to inspire confidence in investors and require minimal Government intervention. "We want to increase ease of doing business in India. Bottlenecks have to be removed, red-tapism cut and investors given confidence so that they can come and invest in oil and gas exploration and production," he said.

Panel Urges Steps to Improve Taxpayer Services, Find Tax Evasion

A panel chaired by TV Mohandas Pai, Chairman of Manipal Global Education Services, has urged the Government to use information technology to improve the quality of taxpayer services, encourage voluntary tax compliance and detect tax evasion. The report to the Finance Ministry also advised setting up of specialized function-based units for data analytics and business intelligence, tax dispute resolution and litigation.   

Govt. Clears 20 Foreign Investment Proposals Worth $161 Million            

The Finance Ministry has cleared 20 foreign direct investment proposals including six in the pharma sector for a total investment of $161 million. The proposals of Fresenius Kabi Oncology for $19 million and Amneal Pharmaceuticals Company's for $34 million have been approved by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board. Indusind Bank's proposal for allowing foreign investment of up to 74 percent has also been cleared.


Govt. Wants to Create $15 Billion 'Internet of Things' Industry in India by 2020

The Government is working on an ambitious plan to create a $15 billion "Internet of Things" industry in the next six years. The Internet of Things can be described as a network of inter-connected devices that can be accessed through the Internet. The proposed policy is in line with the Government's plan to develop 100 smart cities in the country, for which $1.1 billion has been earmarked.     

High Impact News

Govt. Announces Expo to attract Renewable Energy Investors to India


The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy will sponsor the First Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet & Expo from Feb. 15-17, 2015, in New Delhi. The purpose of the expo is to attract large scale investments in the renewable energy sector in India. It will be the Government's first major investment promotion for renewables, signaling India's commitment to sustainable energy.



U.S. India Business Delegation Meets Agriculture Minister  


An executive delegation from the U.S. India Business Council met India's Agriculture Minister. The Minister highlighted the new initiatives in the agricultural sector. The delegation expressed its happiness that the new initiatives of the present Government will take Indian Agriculture to new heights and expressed their willingness to be associated with agriculture development in India wherever possible. 


Japan's SoftBank to Invest $10 Billion in India 


Following Prime Minister Modi's visit to that country, Japanese telecom giant SoftBank said it will invest $10 billion in India's IT and communications space, one of the biggest investments ever from a Japanese firm. SoftBank will look for opportunities in telecom and the fast-growing e-commerce sectors in India. 


Apple's India Revenue Jumps Ten-Fold in Four Years


Over the past four years, Apple's revenue from India has jumped about 10 times, from $73 million in 2010 to $734 million in the financial year ended March 2014. Profit has increased three-fold from $6 million in 2010 to nearly $20 million this year.  

Moody's: India's Energy Reforms Good for Producers

Moody's take on recent Government energy reforms: India fully deregulated diesel prices that it had previously been allowing to increase each month. Prices will now be at international market rates rather than controlled by the Government. At the same time, the Government approved a revised domestic natural gas price formula that links gas prices to international benchmarks, which goes into effect November 1. These reforms are credit-positive for the sovereign, oil and gas companies and state-owned natural gas producers.

IBM Opens First Cloud Data Center in India

IBM has opened its first cloud data center in India at Mumbai, expanding its global cloud center footprint, as part of efforts to bolster its presence in the country's cloud computing market. The new 30,000-square-foot center forms part of a $1.2 billion investment by IBM Cloud to bolster its cloud presence globally.

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