India - Partner In Growth
Welcome to the March 3, 2017  bulletin of key policy decisions and high-impact news, presented by the Embassy of India, Washington DC.
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FM Jaitley: India Poised to be More Open, Less Protectionist
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that India aspires to be a more open economy and avoid protectionism. He added that the Government's emphasis is on infrastructure and rural sectors. Jaitely is visiting Britain, where he will meet with the Chancellor of Exchequer and more than 100 leaders from the U.K.-India Business Council.

Govt. Signs 10 More Advance Pricing Agreements
The Central Board of Direct Taxes has signed 10 more Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs). With these, the Government has entered into 140 APAs. The new APAs include sectors such as telecom, pharmaceutical, banking and finance, steel, retail, information technology and so on. 
Govt. Inks $63 Million Deal with World Bank to Provide Girls' Skills Training
The Government has signed a $63 million financing agreement to provide life-skills and economic marketplace training to girls and young women. Some 680,000 girls and young women are expected to benefit from the program.

Mobile App for GST Updates Launched
In step with the Government's Digital India initiative, the Central Board of Excise and Customs has launched a mobile application for the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The app keeps taxpayers updated on the latest news on the GST. It also enables taxpayer feedback and access to a help desk. 

Govt. Wants to Create Development Near Urban Transit Corridors 
The Government has formulated a policy for transit-oriented development that promotes living in proximity to mass urban transit corridors such as metros, monorail, bus rapid transit corridors, etc. This has been made an essential reform under the green urban mobility program.

India Hosts a Reception for U.S. Governors  
Ambassador Navtej Sarna hosted a reception for the U.S. Governors during the National Governors Association winter meeting in Washington D.C. The event was attended by more than 25 governors, including the chief executives of Virginia, Nevada, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Wisconsin and others. 
India Remains World's Fastest-Growing Economy
India defied expectations to remain the world's fastest-growing major economy, despite the short-term effects of demonetization. The December quarter GDP beat the estimates of economists; analysts polled by Reuters had forecast 6.4 percent growth for the October-December period.
Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar Meets US NSA, discusses bilateral ties
During his visit to Washington DC, Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar has met US National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster and discussed bilateral relations and ways to take Indo-US ties forward. Jaishankar also met Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan and discussed various issues, including ways to enhance economic and defence cooperation between the two countries.

India Is Bright Spot for Infrastructure Investment 
India is seen as a bright spot for infrastructure investment amid rising protectionist measures around the world, said the Global Infrastructure Hub, a platform launched by G20 countries to address global infrastructure deficit. India is very large and promising market, growing fast, and with a lot of opportunity, the group said.  

Factory Output Expands, Manufacturing PMI Rises in Feb.
A day after Government data showed that the adverse impact of demonetization on the economy was much lower than anticipated, additional data indicated that companies and consumers are getting over any persisting cash crunch concerns. The Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 50.7 in February from 50.4 in January.