India - Partner In Growth
Welcome to the October 20, 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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FM Jaitley: Domestic Reforms to Cushion India from Global Shocks 
Promising a continued policy push to boost economic activities and investment flows, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said domestic reforms will "neutralize" any adverse impact of the global slowdown. Jaitley said the Government has put foreign domestic investment on the automatic route in almost 90 percent of the areas that are eligible. 
Highways Authority Looks to Award Projects of $15 Billion in FY'17 
The National Highways Authority of India expects to award projects worth $15 billion for building about 6,500 km of highways in the current fiscal year. The Government is focusing on accelerating road construction and has taken a number of steps to double the pace at which highways are built in the country. 

Govt. OKs $300 Million Road Link Project 
A highway project worth $300 million for construction of a road link between Sahibganj in Jharkhand state to Manihari in Bihar state, including a four-lane bridge on the Ganges River, has received Government approval. The new link will be 16 kilometers long and will reduce the time and cost of travel between the two states. 

Govt. to Invite Bids for Development of 36 Waterways 
Moving fast on its ambitious waterways project, the Government has said it will augment the process of development for 36 waterways and soon invite bids for the project. "...India has a huge potential in this so far untapped segment despite endowed with rivers that could change the economy," Road Transport & Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said.

Intl. Solar Alliance to be Ratified at Climate Conference in Nov. 
International Solar Alliance (ISA) will be ratified at the forthcoming COP22 climate conference in Marrakech in November. The ISA's objective is to bring together solar-rich countries on a common platform to make joint efforts through innovative policies, projects, programs, capacity building measures and financial instruments to increase solar energy capacity. 
PM Modi: India One of World's Most Open Economies
Asserting that results of the reforms undertaken by his Government are visible, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country has transformed into "one of the most open economies" in the world with a strong growth rate. "We have undertaken substantial reforms in the past two years to streamline and simplify governance, especially in doing business," he said.

April-Sept. Govt. Divestments at Highest-Ever $3.1 Billion
The Government has earned $3.1 billion through stake sales and buybacks in the April-September period of this year, the highest-ever first half disinvestment revenue for any year by a good margin. Of this, $2.5 billion has come from buybacks initiated by five state-owned companies.

Cisco to Kick Off Manufacturing in India
In a boost for Prime Minister Modi's "Make in India" initiative, American networking giant Cisco plans to kick off manufacturing in India. Cisco announced that it will use its "India manufacturing operations to produce and ship orders for customers in India, as well as for testing, development, logistics, and in-house repair capabilities." 

Road Construction Pace Set to Double by FY18
Thanks to Government reforms, the pace of road construction in India, which stood at 4.3 kilometers per day in the 2014-15 fiscal year, improved to 6 kilometers per day in the following fiscal year and is on pace to hit 11 kilometers per day in 2018, says Crisil, a global analytical firm. 

NITI Ayog: Build Ecosystems for High-Growth Trajectory
The NITI Aayog has called for building ecosystems to take India on a high-growth trajectory to create wealth. India must work toward capturing global markets and creating ecosystems that can propel the country into a sustainable high-growth path that will also help eliminate poverty, said NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya.