India - Partner In Growth
Welcome to the March 31, 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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Govt. Allows 100% FDI in E-Commerce Retail Sector
The Government has okayed 100 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in the marketplace format of e-commerce retailing with a view to attract more foreign investments, a path that was previously closed to FDI. 

Defexpo 2016: Govt. Announces New Weapons Procurement Policy
Govt. announced a new weapons procurement policy at Defexpo India 2016. The policy aligns with the "Make in India" initiative and aims to partner Indian defense companies with foreign vendors. 

Govt. Oks $867 Million in Infrastructure Projects
A Government panel has cleared four highways projects worth $867 million, including one project each in states of Maharashtra and Punjab and two projects in Bihar. 

Govt. Launches Innovative Skill Development Program 
The Government has launched an innovative, first-time entrepreneurship and skill development program at the Maulana Azad National Academy for Skills.  The program will use such leading celebrities in various skill sets as the driving force behind the skill development projects, in various fields including cosmetology, wellness, textile and fashion design.  

Govt. Signs 11 Pricing Pacts to Make Taxes More Predictable
The Central Board of Direct Taxes signed 11 unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements, aimed at providing a predictable and non-adversarial tax regime. The agreements cover a range of international transactions, including corporate guarantees, royalty, software development services, IT enabled services and trading. 

Ambassador Singh: U.S. is India's 'Indispensable Partner'
As India unveils an "ambitious and transformative economic program,"  with initiatives such as Smart Cities, "Make in India," and "Digital India," the country sees the U.S. as "an indispensible partner," Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Arun K. Singh said, at the 20th Wharton India Economic Forum in Philadelphia.
Boeing, TATA Launch Skills Program for Aerospace Sector
Boeing, Tata Advanced Materials and Nettur Technical Training Foundation rolled out a skills development program to train front-line workers for the aerospace industry. The program involves classroom sessions on fundamental theory, behavioral skills training and vocational training in manufacturing skills. 

India's Forex Reserves Reach All-Time High
India's forex reserves jumped by $2.5 billion to reach a record high at $355.9 billion for the week that ended on March 18, the Reserve Bank of India said. The previous high was $355.4 billion reported on June 27 last year. 

U.S. Substantially Increases Direct Investment in India
India has overtaken China in terms of direct equity allocation by U.S. investors. Data released by the U.S. Treasury shows India made up 1.8% of U.S. foreign equity holdings as of December 2015 versus 1.6% in China.

Foreign Automakers Make India Their Export Hub  
  India has become the first country in Asia to export two fully-built inter-city luxury buses to Europe, marking a dramatic shift in its manufacturing capabilities. Swedish automaker Volvo and Volkswagen-owned Scania are the manufacturers.