India - Partner In Growth
Welcome to the December 9, 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 405 New Special Economic Zones
The proposal to create 405 new Special Economic Zones (SEZs) has been approved. The SEZs will be an addition to the seven Central Government SEZs and 11 state and private sector SEZs set up prior to the enactment of the SEZs Act in 2005. There are currently 206 SEZs in operation. More than $61 billion has been invested in SEZs.
DIPP to Ease Arbitration Laws
The industry department is planning to allow companies to go in for voluntary arbitration without having to seek court permission, a move aimed at making it easier for firms to resolve disputes. Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion is engaging with all government departments and ministries to take up various areas of improvement for ease of doing business. 

Govt. Firms Plans for Digital Payment Communication Campaign
The Government has undertaken a series of measures to provide incentives to quickly transition to cashless digital payment systems. These include incentives for digital payments for day to day financial transactions such as selling goods and services and transferring money.  

Setting Up of Coastal Economic Zones 
The Government has identified two maritime clusters for Coastal Economic Zones, one in Tamil Nadu and the other in Gujarat.  These CEZs are aimed at promoting development of port-proximate industrial clusters and encourage port-led development.

Industry Welcomes Govt. Draft Policy for Software Products  
The IT industry has welcomed the Ministry of Electronics and IT's (MeitY) draft policy for software products, which is open for consultation from the sector and other stakeholders until December 9. 

India Will be 2nd-Largest E-commerce Market by 2034
A surge in internet penetration, the swelling millennial population and rising uptake of mobile phones will make India the second-largest e-commerce market after China, overtaking the U.S. by 2034, said a report by global payments leader Worldpay. 

India Crosses $300 Billion FDI Threshold
India crossed the $300 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) threshold between April 2000 and September 2016, firmly establishing its credentials as a safe investment destination. The cumulative FDI inflows during the period amounted to $310 billion. 

REITs Have $77 Billion Opportunity in India
Indian real estate is likely to provide investment opportunity worth up to $77 billion through REIT-eligible commercial office and retail properties across the country's top seven cities by 2020. Across these cities, including Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru and Pune, ready commercial space eligible for REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) investments amounts to 277 million sq. ft., a report said.

Apple to Set Up Distribution Center with Indian Partner
Apple will move to a dedicated distribution center for its products in India for the first time, consolidating its logistics operations to ensure common pricing for offline and online sales and acquiring greater control over the supply chain.

IFC Plans to Invest Up to $300 Million in Indian Healthcare 
The World Bank's private lending arm International  Finance  Corporation (IFC) is exploring the possibility of investing $200-300 million in the Indian healthcare, pharmaceutical and medical devices space in the next year.