India - Partner In Growth
Welcome to the March 24, 2017  bulletin of key policy decisions and high-impact news, presented by the Embassy of India, Washington DC.
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Govt. Approves Four GST-Related Bills
The Cabinet has approved four pieces of supporting GST (Goods and Services Tax) legislation as the Government sprints to meet the July 1 target date for rollout of the new indirect tax regime. The GST is foundational to India's tax reform push, a critical element to improving the nation's ease-of-doing-business ranking. 

Govt. Considers 'Shark Tank'-Like Reality Show for Start-Ups
The Government's Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has given in-principle approval for a Government-run reality show on the lines of the popular American TV program "Shark Tank," to promote the start-up culture in the country. 
Lower Parliament OKs Finance Bill, Aadhaar IDs Now Mandatory for IT Filing, PAN
India's lower house of Parliament, the Lok Sabha, has passed the Finance Bill after amendments presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Jaitley proposed to make the Aadhaar national ID mandatory for filing income tax returns as well as for obtaining a Permanent Account Number (PAN). 

Private Firms Can Choose Swachh Bharat Projects Online
Companies can now go Swachh Bharat shopping. Looking at increasing the participation of the private sector in its flagship street-cleaning programs, the Government is opening a marketplace to put up all cleanliness projects it seeks assistance for. Projects in the marketplace will include the construction of household, public and community toilets; waste management infrastructure and information, education and communication initiatives. 

National Health Policy Has Heart in Right Place
The National Health Policy 2017 aims to raise public health expenditure to 2.5 percent of the gross domestic product and targets universal access to good quality healthcare services at affordable costs. It includes a proposal to provide free drugs, free diagnostics and free emergency care services in all public hospitals, moves applauded by healthcare providers.

PM Modi: Gems and Jewelry Sector an Example of Make in India 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi pointed to India's gems and jewelry sector as a prime example of the enormous growth potential of the Government's Make in India and Skill India programs. 

Govt. May Consider Proposal on Dismantling FIPB in April
India has begun the process of dismantling some of the last remaining controls inhibiting foreign direct investment. The department of economic affairs has floated a draft Cabinet note to scrap the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), in line with a plan announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his budget. 
Policy in Works to Make India a Hot Port of Call for Cruise Ships