India - Partner In Growth
Welcome to the November 12, 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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Govt. Announces Foreign Investment Reforms in 15 Sectors
The Government has announced Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) reforms in 15 sectors. "The crux of these reforms is to further ease, rationalise and simplify the process of foreign investments in the country and to put more and more FDI proposals on automatic route instead of Government route where time and energy of the investors is wasted," a statement read. 

New Site on National Clean Development Mechanism Authority
A new website has been launched by the National Clean Development Mechanism Authority (NCDMA) that will capture the entire life cycle of such projects. This web-based application will promote transparency in operation and monitor sustainable development activities relating to the CDM projects in the country. 


Govt. to Liberalize 2G Spectrum 
The Department of Telecom has issued guidelines to liberalize the 2G spectrum. Operators will be able to offer the latest mobile services, including 4G, using the same radio waves. 

Reserve Bank Allows Foreign Exchange Swaps with Multilateral Bodies
The Reserve Bank of India has allowed domestic entities to conduct foreign currency-rupee swaps with multilateral agencies and allow hedging of loans. These swap transactions would have a minimum tenor of three years. The Government must be a shareholding member at the multilateral or international financial institutions. 

Insurance Gets New Distribution Avenue
To increase the distribution footprint of the insurance industry, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has allowed a new type of distributor, called the Point of Sale person. The agency said it hopes this step will facilitate the growth of the insurance business.

Modi Announces Revamped Appraisal System for Tax Officers 
In a bid to overhaul tax administration, Prime Minister Modi has announced a revamp of the appraisal system for officers -- which would factor in how many of their orders were upheld on appeal - in addition to backing a new method of scrutiny of returns that spares taxpayers the need to visit offices. 

Nielsen: India Tops U.S. to Become No. 1 in Global Consumer Confidence 
I ndia continues to lead the global consumer confidence index in the third quarter of this year, followed closely by the U.S., a global report said. Nielsen said in the third quarter of this year, India's consumer confidence score was at 131 followed by the U.S. (119), the Philippines (117) and Indonesia (116). 

Boeing Bags Order for 75 New 737s From India's Jet Airways
Boeing Co. has signed an order for 75 single-aisle planes with India's Jet Airways, valued at around $8 billion. The Indian carrier is buying Boeing's 737 Max 8 narrow body jetliner, an upgraded version of the plane maker's best-selling aircraft. 

GE Wins $2.25 Billion Locomotive Deal in Biggest India Award
General Electric won a $2.25 billion contract to build diesel locomotives for India's state-owned railway, the company's largest deal in a country striving to modernize the oldest network in Asia. GE will invest $155 million to build a factory in northern Bihar state under a joint venture with Indian Railways. The goal is to produce 1,000 diesel locomotives over 10 years.

Nasscom: India Ranks 3rd in Global Startup Ecosystem
India ranks third among global startup ecosystems with more than 4,200 new-age companies, IT industry body Nasscom said. Nasscom along with Zinnov launched the second edition of the start-up report titled "Start-up India -- Momentous Rise of the Indian Start-up Ecosystem." 

Second Meeting of India-U.S. Investment Initiative Held
The second Meeting of the U.S-India Investment Initiative was held which focused on potential policy measures that could deepen India's capital markets and drive greater U.S. investment in India."The India-U.S. Investment Initiative will help our governments discuss and explore capital market reforms and policy measures to spur long-term investment by domestic and foreign investors in India," read the joint statement issued after the conclusion of the meeting.  
India, U.S. Have Busy Commercial Calendar Ahead 
The India-U.S. commercial relationship has a busy calendar ahead in the next 12 months, which is aimed at encouraging greater ambition in expanding bilateral trade and addressing market access challenges facing U.S. companies.