India - Partner In Growth
Welcome to the September 15, 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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Cabinet Approves Creation of GST Council, Secretariat

The Cabinet has approved setting up the GST (Goods & Services Tax) Council and setting up its Secretariat. Included in this act is the appointment of relevant officials and the commitment to funding. The tax reforms are expected to spur foreign investment in India
Govt. to Launch Funds for Youth Entrepreneurs 

The Government plans to launch special funds for youngsters ages 16-21 and 21-26, with an aim to support and nurture entrepreneurship in India. The Government is looking to launch incubation centers, innovation hubs and investment funds.  

US$3 Billion Long-Term Irrigation Fund to be Raised 
In a move that aims to address the irrigation water crisis affecting rural India, the Government signed an agreement to create the Long Term Irrigation Fund. The Fund, with an initial amount of $3 billion, was announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. It will fund fast tracking of implementation of incomplete major and medium irrigation projects. 

Cabinet OKs Establishment of Higher Education Financing Agency 
The Cabinet has approved the creation of the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) to give a major push for creation of high quality infrastructure in premier educational institutions. The HEFA would leverage its equity to raise up to $3 billion for funding projects for infrastructure and development of world class labs. 

Construction Sector to Get $6 Billion Boost
Construction contractors and concessionaires of Government projects are set to get a $6 billion boost with the NITI Aayog pushing central public sector units to release 75 percent of the amount due to them to revive the sector. The push follows the Government's recent decision to release construction sector funds locked in arbitration. 

U.N.: India on Path for Hi-Tech Manufacturing Boom 
India is on the path of becoming a "pivot" for high-tech world manufacturing even as global manufacturing growth is expected to remain low in 2016 due to weakened financial support for productive activities, a new United Nations report said. 

Study: India Among Top M&A Markets in Asia-Pacific
India is becoming an attractive investment market for inbound mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in Asia-Pacific, according to a report by Kroll and Mergermarket. The report cites favorable economic and demographic conditions, plus an encouraging regulatory regime. 

Invest India Program: A Quiet Revolution for Investors 
Invest India has experts who provide sector and state-specific inputs, and who support investors through the entire investment cycle, from pre-investment decision-making to post-investment assistance. In one year, Invest India has been able to guide a clutch of big and small investors keen to invest in India. 

Report: India to Grow 7.5% in FY17
In view of reforms, a better investment climate, improved ease of doing business and a normal monsoon so far, the Indian economy is expected to grow 7.5 percent in 2016-17 (FY17), global consultant Dun & Bradstreet said. "The sweeping reforms to rules on foreign direct investment, the clearance of bankruptcy code, GST, debt recovery bill etc. heralds a better investment climate," the report said.  

USIBC: 100 U.S. Lawmakers to Visit India to Strengthen Ties
Seeking to boost Indo-US ties, a top American industry advocacy group plans to arrange visit of about 100 U.S. representatives and senators to India in the next two years to help them meet top Indian leaders and officials. "It is important that we convey a right story about India to both the House and the Senate," said Mukesh Aghi, U.S. India Business Council (USIBC) president.