Welcome to the November 6, 2014 bulletin of key policy decisions and high-impact news from India, presented by the Embassy of India, in Washington D.C.
Key Policy Decisions
Govt. Eases Foreign Investment Rules for Construction, Real Estate

The Government has eased overseas investment rules in construction to attract money into the sector and meet its twin goals of faster job creation and expanded housing. The Government halved the minimum foreign direct investment from $10 million to $5 million and substantially eased the exit rules.   

MSME Ministry, Labor Group Join to Support 'Make in India' Campaign


The Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises has signed an agreement with the International Labour Organization aimed at creating more jobs and backing Govt's "Make in India" campaign.  The agreement will focus on three areas: entrepreneurship development, good workplace practices for improving productivity and enhancing integration into global supply chains; and research in sustainable enterprises and formalization strategies.


Health Minister: Govt. Will Make Sure National Health Assurance Mission Does its Job
The National Health Assurance Mission, which aims to provide accessible and affordable health care to every citizen and which will roll out next year, will be rigorously regulated and enforced to make certain the Mission is delivering the services promised by the Government, said Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.

Govt. to Modernize 350 Toll Plazas by December, Make Some Highways Toll-Free

The Government will modernize 350 toll plazas across the country with electronic toll-collecting technology and will make highways that cost less than $8 million toll-free, moves that are expected to produce substantial fuel savings, Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said.   

High Impact News

World Bank Finds India Protects Minority Investors Better Than U.S., Japan  


India is a much better destination for protecting minority investors and for credit availability, according to a World Bank report. India is ahead of the U.S., Japan, France and Germany when it comes to protecting minority investors. "Today, thanks to the creation and expansion of a national credit bureau offering credit scores and coverage on par with those in some high-income economies, a small business in India with a good financial history is more likely to get credit and hire more workers," the report said


Deloitte: India Poised for 'Improved Prosperity'

India is poised for "improved prosperity" as the reforms initiated by the new Government are taking shape and sectors, including infrastructure, will be the key drivers of growth, says global consultancy Deloitte. According to the latest competitiveness report by Deloitte, with a new Government in place, solid growth projected, and a flourishing middle class, "investors appear increasingly willing to back India."

WhatsApp User-Base Crosses 70 Million in India


Mobile messenger service WhatsApp's user base in India has grown to 70 million active users, or one-tenth of the app's global users, company vice president Neeraj Arora said. India is one of the biggest markets for WhatsApp, Arora said, adding that connecting billions of people in markets like India and Brazil is the aim of the company.



Tata Consultancy, VMware to Jointly Open Data Centers in U.S. and India   


Tata Consultancy Services, India's largest software services exporter, has partnered with VMware, a U.S. global cloud and virtualization software services company, to open data center locations in Milford, Ohio, and Pune, India. Initially, the collaboration will provide offerings for software platforms such as SAP, Oracle and enterprise analytics.


Google Offers Hindi Voice Search, to Add Regional Languages Soon

Aimed at bringing 300 million Indians online, Google has partnered with content providers such as ABP News and Amar Ujala, along with the Government's Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, to make regional content available on the Internet. Google, which currently offers voice search in English, has also added a Hindi language service and plans to add other languages, such as Tamil, Marathi and Bengali in coming months. 

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