India - Partner In Growth
Welcome to the November 18, 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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New Policy Will Speed Up Rollout of Telecom Infrastructure
To enable faster rollout of telecom infrastructure and improve service quality, the Government has debuted the Right of Way Policy that will lay out rules for faster acquisition of land for installation of towers and fiber. The permission to roll out infrastructure could come within 60 days of application, Telecom Secretary J.S. Deepak said. 
Highway Authority Woos Investors by Covering Risk
Foreign funds willing to invest in Government-owned national highways need not worry about loss of traffic and other unforeseen risks such as engineering faults associated with projects, because the National Highways Authority of India has agreed to provide a risk cover to investors. "We are building enough safeguards in the system so that investor confidence remains intact," Authority Chairman Raghav Chandra said.  

Exports Up Nearly 10% to $24 Billion in October
India's merchandise exports sharply rose in October with 18 of the 30 export sectors registering growth in outward shipments. Showing a 9.6 percent rise, exports in the month were $23.5 billion compared with $21.4 billion in the same period a year ago. "Overall the trade balance has improved," said the commerce and industry ministry in a release.  

Reserve Bank Issues Borrowing Guidelines for Start-ups 
Start-ups can borrow up to $3 million or equivalent per financial year - either in rupees, or any convertible foreign currency or a combination of both - for a minimum average maturity period of three years, the Reserve Bank of India said in its guidelines for start-ups to access loans under the external commercial borrowing framework. 

Steel Minister: India Working Toward Becoming a Global Hub
Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said that the Steel Ministry is working toward innovative and cost-effective R&D solutions for becoming a global hub for the steel industry. He said that state-owned companies, the private sector and the Ministry will have to prepare to face overseas challenges.
2016 India International Trade Fair Kicks Off 
The annual flagship event of the India Trade Promotion Organisation, the 36th India International Trade Fair, was inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee on November 14 in New Delhi. More than 150 companies from 27 countries are taking part. The Fair's "Digital India" theme is in line with the vision of Prime Minister Modi.   
Pharma Firm Abbott to House Innovation Hub in India
It's not just about innovating in India for India, but also innovating in India for the rest of the world, said Michael Warmuth, global head of Abbott's pharmaceuticals business, on the U.S. firm's plans to strengthen India as an "innovation hub." India will house one of Abbott's six innovation hubs and will feed pharmaceutical product launches in 30 countries, Warmuth said. 

Indian Students Contribute $5 Billion to U.S. Economy 
The number of Indian students studying in the U.S. soared by 25 percent to a record high, figures from 2015-2016 show, and these students contributed $5 billion to the American economy. A total of 165,918 Indians are now studying in the U.S., up from 132,888 in 2014-15, the report says. 

Crisil: India Infra Funding Needs $126 Billion Per Year
India's infrastructure funding requirement is gargantuan, needing $126 billion per year, rating agency Crisil said. Crisil said 70 percent of the funds will be required in just three sectors - power, transportation and urban infrastructure. In power, generation (thermal and renewable) will continue to account for the largest share of the investments. 

Intel Bets Big on India for Data-Centre Business
U.S. chip maker Intel is betting big on India as a high-growth market for its data-center business, fuelled by demand from areas including high-performance computing, the public sector, financial services and start-ups. The company's India data-center business, which contributed $145 million to Intel's Data Center Group revenue of $14.5 billion in 2014, is expected to show double-digit growth this year.