India - Partner In Growth
Welcome to the December 2, 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. OKs Liberalization, Simplification of Visa Policy 
The Government has approved the liberalization, simplification and rationalization of the existing visa regime in India. The approval will facilitate entry of foreigners for tourism, business and medical purposes. This is expected to stimulate economic growth and augment the Government's Skill India, Digital India and Make in India initiatives. 
Finance Ministry Invites Suggestions for Budget 2017-18  
To encourage public participation and bring greater transparency, the Finance Ministry has invited suggestions from the public for Budget 2017-18. Citizens from all walks of life are welcome to be a part of the budget-making process, said a post on myGov portal, and have until December 15 to make their suggestions.

Experts: I-T Act Amendment a 'Win-Win,' to Boost Govt. Revenues 
Experts termed proposed amendments to the Income Tax Act as a "win-win" proposition, saying they will give one more opportunity to black money holders to come clean by paying tax and penalty of 50 percent. "The amendments are progressive in nature and put to rest to the uncertainty on the penalties on the amounts deposited in bank accounts post announcement of demonetization," KPMG said.

FM: Govt. Has Set Up Insolvency Mechanism Based on Global Best-Practices
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the Government has set up a modern insolvency mechanism based on global best practices. The mechanism and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India were set up by the Government in the shortest possible time. 

Airports Developed Through Public-Private Partnership 
In the newly approved National Civil Aviation Policy, 2016, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has made provisions for promotion of regional connectivity by reviving unserved and under-served airports and airstrips. Airport revival will depend on demand from airline operators and where state government concessions are provided. 
India Unveils World's Largest Solar Power Plant
India has unveiled the world's largest solar power plant with the completion of its new facility in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. The plant has a capacity of 648 MW and is spread over almost four square miles. It is expected to power 150,000 homes. India is expected to become the world's third-biggest solar market - after China and the United States - starting next year. 
Demonetization Silently Changing Way India Does Financial Transactions  
Demonetization is silently changing the way India transacts as the dematerialization of shares did to stock trading in the mid-90s. The rapid adoption of digital banking is accelerating as Indians turn from cash to online methods of payment. 

India Becomes Morgan Stanley's Biggest Overweight

India has become Morgan Stanley's biggest overweight in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan/emerging market portfolio. The brokerage has increased India weightage by 50 basis points to 250 bps in its 27-nation portfolio for the region. 

Successful India-U.S. Bilateral Pricing Agreement Meeting Held
The Bilateral Competent Authority Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) / Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) meeting between India and the U.S. was held in Washington D.C. During the meeting, 66 MAP cases relating to Transfer Pricing issues and 42 MAP cases relating to Treaty Interpretation issues were agreed to be resolved successfully. 

NITI Aayog: Indian Luxury Market Likely to Reach $18.5 Billion in 2016
The luxury market in India is likely to reach $18.5 billion in 2016, up from $14.7 billion last year and will post an annual growth rate of 25 percent, said Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog. "The introduction of the goods and services tax will also provide India a huge competitive advantage to India's luxury sector," he added.