India - Partner In Growth
Welcome to the December 23, 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. Taking Steps to Raise India's Ease of Doing Business Ranking to Top 50
In its efforts to improve India's ease of doing business ranking, the Government is identifying 10 indicators that departments must meet and monitor. Further, the departments  will hold stakeholder consultation to get their feedback on the reforms undertaken and also engage with the respondents to ensure that the reforms are felt at the ground, the Government said, at a meeting chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Govt. OKs Creation of Indian Enterprise Development Service

The Government has approved a new service called the ├Źndian Enterprise Development Service that will help to achieve the vision of Startup India, Stand-up India and Make in India.  The measure will enhance the capacity and efficiency of the organization and also help in achieving growth for medium and small businesses through a focused and dedicated cadre of technical officers. 

Disinvestment of Pawan Hans Helicopters Approved 

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the strategic disinvestment of Pawan Hans Limited based on the recommendations of the Core Group of Secretaries on Disinvestment. The Government will disinvest 100 percent of its shares to a strategic buyer identified through a two-stage auction process.

U.S.-India Clean Energy Finance Facility Announced
Power Minister Piyush Goyal and U.S. Ambassador to India Richard Verma launched a new joint component the of U.S.-India Clean Energy Finance Initiative, which will help in unlocking OPIC financing and mobilizing public and private capital to expand access to distributed clean energy projects.

Govt. launches portal for accessing various services on single platform
With the aim to provide seamless access to Government services under various ministries and entities, a services portal was launched by the Information Technology Ministry. Citizens will be able to access a variety of services, such as applying for a PAN card, scholarship, jobs, digital certificates, voter IDs, passports and visas, through a single window.                                                                           
Ambassador Navtej Sarna: 'Immense Opportunities' for U.S. Firms in India
U.S. businesses can tap the immense opportunities that lie in India's railways, infrastructure, manufacturing and innovation ecosystems amid a remarkable shift in bilateral ties, said Ambassador Navtej Sarna, India's envoy to the U.S. "In my diplomatic journey, I have been fortunate to witness the remarkable shift in the U.S.-India bilateral relationship. There is a clear signal that our ties are only going to get stronger," Sarna told the U.S.-India Business Council.

World Bank Study pegs India's Energy Efficiency Market at $235 Billion 
Energy Minister Piyush Goyal said that a World Bank study has pegged India's energy efficiency market at $235 billion. Goyal said notes that the renewed demand side management market potential is estimated to be 178 billion kWh of energy savings per year. 

Economist Study: India Remains Fastest-Growing Large Economy 
The Economist Intelligence Unit, the research and analysis division of The Economist Group, said that India continues to be the fastest-growing large economy, beating China. Tweeting the highlights of the research, Director of Global Forecasting at the EIU Joseph Lake said, "India remains fastest-growing large economy, beating China." 

E-Tourist Program Spurs 64% Growth in Foreign Tourists to India  
A total of 136,876 foreign tourists arrived in November 2016 on the e-Tourist Visa as compared to 83,501 during the same period last year, registering a growth of 64%. The U.K. continues to occupy the top slot for tourist arrivals, followed by the U.S. and Russia. 

Key Takeaways from Amazon's Investment in India
For global technology leader Amazon, India is the ultimate market. With total investments of $1 billion made in just over 12 months, the Jeff Bezos-led company has managed to make major inroads into the Indian market and plans to continue to do so next year.