India - Partner In Growth
Welcome to the September 3, 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. Identifies 98 Smart City Candidates
The Government has released a list of 98 cities that will move to the second stage of competition to win Government funding to become Smart Cities. Of the 98, 24 are capital cities, 24 are business and industrial centers, 18 of cultural and tourism importance, five are port cities and three are education and healthcare hubs.

Developers Can Divest 100% Equity in Road Projects    
The Government has allowed developers to divest 100 percent equity in projects two years after the completion of such plans, a move that can unlock investments worth about $677 million. The decision is aimed at fast-tracking contracts and implementation of highway projects in the country by making additional funds available for investment in projects. 

States Work to Score High on Ease of Doing Business   
An electricity connection within days of applying, online submission of luxury tax, a similar process to renew boiler licenses, mobile apps for paying bills- those are just some of the ways that states are trying to outdo each other as they woo investors. States are working to ring in reforms rapidly after the Modi Government said it would rank them in ease of doing business. 

Govt. OKs 16 Foreign Investment Proposals Worth $174 Million  
The Foreign Investment Promotion Board has cleared 16 foreign direct investment proposals amounting to $174 million, including those of Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance, Encore Asset Reconstruction Company and News Laundry Media. 

Promising an easy and fast-track approval process for mergers and acquisitions, fair-trade regulator CCI has said the new application forms for such clearances ensure valid and complete filings by the companies. Mergers and acquisitions beyond a certain threshold require approval from the CCI, which keeps a tab on anti-competitive practices in the market place. 

Study: Indian Nutraceuticals Industry to Hit $6.1 Billion by 2020
Rising awareness about health and fitness and changing lifestyles are driving the Indian nutraceuticals market, which is likely to cross $6.1 billion by 2020 from the current level of $2.8 billion, according to a new study by a market research firm. While penetration of nutraceuticals in urban India is around 22 percent, in rural areas it is as low as 6 percent. 


Tata Consultancy Gives Carnegie Mellon $35 Million
Indian IT giant Tata Consultancy Services announced a donation of $35 million to prestigious Carnegie Mellon University - the largest gift the school has received from outside the U.S. The donation will be used for setting up a new facility at its Pittsburgh campus and providing scholarships. 

Citigroup to Incubate Banking Apps.
Citigroup has launched the Asia-Pacific leg of its corporate accelerator program in India, wooing start-ups and developers to build technology solutions that could help the banking giant and its partners navigate the shifting trends in the banking industry. In India, Citi has partnered with Google, IBM, Amazon and others. Finalists will get cash rewards, mentoring, office space and technology help in terms of using cloud infrastructure to host applications.   

USIBC: India's Agriculture Sector has Tremendous Potential 
A delegation of US India Business Council (USIBC) visited India focusing on India's agriculture sector.  It stated agriculture in India has tremendous potential of being transformed into a vibrant sector.  The delegation explored ways to increase investment in food processing industry.   
India to Remain Fastest-Growing Big Economy 
According to a Reuters poll of economists, Indian economy is expected to remain the fastest growing major economy for a second straight quarter. The estimate puts GDP annual growth at 7.4 percent in the quarter.