India - Partner In Growth
Welcome to the July 25, 2017  bulletin of key policy decisions and high-impact news, presented by the Embassy of India, Washington DC.
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India's Cabinet Expands Community Welfare Fund for Diaspora 
The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, last week approved revisions to the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) guidelines that seek to expand the scope of welfare measures for overseas Indian nationals in emergency situations. The revised guidelines cover three areas: assisting overseas Indian nationals in situations of distress, community welfare activities and improvement in consular services. Established in 2009, the ICWF has supported Indian nationals during emergency evacuations or in conflict zones including Libya, Yemen and South Sudan.   

ONGC Acquires HPCL in First Step to Merge State-Owned Oil Companies
India's Union Cabinet signed off on Oil and Natural Gas Corp.'s (ONGC) proposal to acquire the state-owned refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (HPCL), in a move seen as the first step in the government's plan to merge state-owned oil companies. The plan - first proposed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley - aims to increase efficiencies by merging the 11 government oil companies and creating a more cohesive, competitive firm.

Finance Minister Issues National Trade Facilitation Action Plan 
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley last week released the National Trade Facilitation Action Plan (NTFAP), which seeks to improve the ease of doing business in India. NTFAP will transform the cross-border clearance ecosystem by reducing cargo release time and cost, promoting a digital regulatory environment, implementing a transparent legal regime, and improving and building better infrastructure.