India - Partner In Growth
Welcome to the April 7, 2017  bulletin of key policy decisions and high-impact news, presented by the Embassy of India, Washington DC.
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Two-Month E-Visas to Facilitate Tourism
The Government will offer electronic visas to visitors for up to two months, doubling the current one-month duration, as a part of India's efforts to attract more tourists. India already offers electronic tourist visas to 140 countries, but from April 1, when the new rules will kick in, e-visas will be available for business and medical visits.

India Joins International Energy Agency Association
India has become part of  IEA (International Energy Agency) Association that will allow the country play a more visible and influential role in the global energy landscape. The "Activation of Association" is expected to serve as a bridge and platform for wider-ranging and deeper co-operation between IEA members and Association countries. 


SEBI Hikes Foreign Portfolio Investment Limit for Govt. Debt
The Securities and Exchange Board of India, the market regulator, has raised the foreign portfolio investment (FPI) limit in central Government securities to $28 billion from $23 billion. The limit for investment by all FPIs in State Development Loans increased to $4 billion from $3 billion. The move is in line with the Reserve Bank of India revising the limit for investment by FPIs in Government securities for the April-June 2017 quarter.

GST Rollout: Govt. OKs $340 Million to Upgrade IT Network for the New Tax Regime
The Government has approved $340 million for Project Saksham to bolster the information technology network for the new Goods & Services Tax regime. This IT Infrastructure project will enable not just the implementation of the GST but also support all existing services in Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax. Project Saksham will be implemented by a consortium of Indian-American companies.

Govt. OKs Export of All Certified Organic Agri Products
The Government has given its approval for removal of all quantitative ceilings on certified organic products. A stable and consistent export policy relating to export of organic products will allow exporters to make long-term commitment to the buyers and establish relationships with farmers.

Minister Swaraj: Indian IT firms Creating, not Stealing, U.S. Jobs 
Indian information technology (IT) companies operating in the U.S. are generating jobs, not stealing them from Americans, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. "So far, Indian companies have given direct employment to 156 thousand Americans and supportive jobs to 411 thousand Americans," Swaraj said. She added that between 2011 and 2015, Indian companies have made an investment of $2 billion, paid taxes worth $20 billion and Indian workers have contributed $7 billion to U.S. Social Security.
Global Investors, Bullish on Modi, Buy Indian Stocks
Indian stocks reached a new high recently, powered by foreign funds. India's bellwether S&P BSE Sensex broke a two-year closing record on Monday as it rose to end trading at 29,910.22. India has outperformed most developed and emerging markets this year. The index is up more than 11 percent, while key indexes in China, Brazil and the U.S. are up between 4 percent and 8 percent, and Russian stocks are down. Meanwhile, the rupee has risen 4.5 percent against the dollar since January.