India - Partner In Growth
Welcome to the April 23rd, 2015 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 Pitches for Low Taxes, Says No to Retrospective Tax
Promising a "modern tax system" with low and globally competitive rates, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has assured foreign investors there will be no retrospective action and said taxpayers will be seen as "partners and not as potential hostages or victims." 

Visa-On-Arrival is Now 'e-Tourist Visa'
The Government has renamed the online visa program for travelers as "e-Tourist Visa." The Ministry of Home Affairs said that the program will be extended to more countries and airports in a phased manner.

Big Firms Can Now Produce 20 Items Reserved for Small Industries

Big companies can now produce bread, pickles and chutneys, wooden furniture, fireworks, glass bangles and other items that had been reserved for small businesses. In keeping with the various ease-of-doing business measures, the Government said the move will encourage greater investment to upgrade technology and standards toward enhancing competition. 



One-Stop Online Portal for Environmental Proposals Launched 

The Government has launched a one-stop online portal for environmental, forests and wildlife proposals, accessible at The portal automates the entire tracking of proposals, including online submission of new proposals. It allows edits and updates to proposals and displays their status at each stage of the workflow.  


Road Safety Projects Eligible for Tax Exemption

Projects that promote road safety and aim at curbing accidents are eligible for deduction under the Income Tax Act, the Finance Ministry has clarified.

World Bank: India's GDP Growth Rate to Reach 8% by 2017   
The World Bank has predicted a GDP growth rate of 8 percent for India by 2017 and said that a strong expansion in the country, coupled with favorable oil prices, would accelerate the economic growth in South Asia. India is attempting to shift from consumption to investment-led growth, the bank said.

Study: India Has Best Investment Climate of BRIC Peers

India has a "better investment climate" than other BRIC nations, says a survey of top executives of German companies. Investors recognize India's market growth, large market size and efforts to attract foreign direct investment. 

'U.S. Foreign Investment in India Could Double in Liberalized Regime' 
With a liberalized investment regime, foreign direct investment from the U.S. in India could double, said Catherine Novelli, Undersecretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and Environment at a conference on "Deepening the US-India Commercial Partnership". She described recent reforms as the "first great step" that will help India meet the needs and aspirations of its people.  

Foreign Investment in Services Up 47% Since Jan. 2014 

With the Government taking steps to improve the ease of doing business and attract foreign investment, foreign direct investment into the services sector grew by about 47 percent to $2.6 billion in the April-January period of the past fiscal year.


VW Plans to Make India Low-Cost Export Hub

German auto major Volkswagen is planning to make India a low-cost manufacturing hub, catering to both the emerging as well as developed markets. Also, as part of Prime Minister Modi's "Make In India" initiative, the company will invest $238 million in new facilities.