Welcome to the February 26, 2015 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. Launches eBiz Portal 


The Government has launched an eBiz portal (www.ebiz.gov.in) with the aim of improving the ease of doing business in India. eBiz has 11 government services. DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant said that the portal is meant to eliminate needless procedures and integrate use of technology.  


11 Foreign Investment Proposals Worth $173 Million OK'd     


The Foreign Investment Promotion Board has cleared foreign investment in 11 entities totaling $173 million. The sectors receiving investment include financial services, renewable energy and life sciences.


Telecom Tariffs to Drop as Landline Phone Charges Nixed                       

In a bid to boost landline phone connections in the country, the country's telecom regulator has removed charges that landline providers must pay to other carriers -- a move that is likely to lead to lower tariffs. The move is designed to improve delivery of high-speed Internet over phone lines and reduce customer costs. 

Govt. OKs Highway Projects Worth $1.4 Billion                       


The Government has approved $1.4 billion of highway projects in Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Chhattisgarh. The National Highway in Uttar Pradesh will receive six lanes and run for 145 kilometers. 

Accounting Standards Revised to Fit Global Norms                      


Nearly 40 new accounting standards have been approved by the Corporate Affairs Ministry, bringing them in convergence with the globally recognized International Financial Reporting Standards. KPMG India said these IFRS standards fill significant gaps in the current accounting guidance.

New Portal for e-Filing of Foreign Direct Investment Applications                        


The Finance Ministry has launched a new website for filing and processing foreign direct investment (FDI) applications requiring Government approval. The new website, http://fipb.gov.in, will receive FDI applications and reduce the number of applications required to one.

High-Impact News

India, U.S. Have Momentum in Bilateral Ties       


India's Foreign Secretary Dr. S. Jaishankar met U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice on February 20, 2015 in Washington, DC. Both sides agreed to sustain the momentum of the bilateral relationship between the two countries generated by the visits of top leaders. Rice congratulated Jaishankar on his recent promotion and said that she looks forward to working with him to further advance the Indo-U.S. relationship.



Mylan to Sell Gilead's Hepatitis C Drugs in India       


U.S. generic drugmaker Mylan has said it will sell two chronic Hepatitis C drugs made by Gilead Sciences in India. Mylan is the exclusive Indian distributor of Sovaldi and Harvoni for treatment of chronic Hepatitis C. "Hepatitis C is a growing public health concern, particularly in developing countries such as India where access to high quality, effective and affordable treatment remains a challenge," said Mylan President Rajiv Malik.

Google Capital to Open Indian Office, Its First Outside U.S.                       

Google is setting up an office for Google Capital, its year-old late-stage fund, in India, the first outside the U.S. Google Capital partner David Lawee told The Wall Street Journal that "it makes a lot of sense to focus on India right now," citing the growing adoption of smartphones in the country and its increasingly active startup community. 


Mobile Internet Traffic Up 74%, 3G Use More than Doubled in 2014     


Mobile Internet use in India grew by 74 percent last year, driven by 3G traffic, which more than doubled in 2014, according to a study by Nokia Networks. "There has been huge growth momentum of data usage in India on wireless networks driven by 3G traffic," said Nokia Networks Vice President Sandeep Girotra.

Boeing Signs Deal with Bharat Forge 

Boeing has signed a multi-year contract with Bharat Forge to supply titanium forgings for wing components. Bharat Forge will begin supplying pre-machined forgings from its facilities in Pune and Baramati to Boeing in the first quarter of 2016, the company said. The components will be installed in the Next-Generation 737 and 737 MAX wings at the Boeing plant in Washington.
India, U.S. Hold First Bilateral Dialogue on U.N., Multilateral Issues 

India and the U.S. have held their first bilateral dialogue on U.N. and multilateral issues in the spirit of the "Delhi Declaration of Friendship" that strengthens and expands the two countries' relationship. "Today's discussions focused on international peace and security, peacekeeping operations, counter-piracy, the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the U.N. Human Rights Council and other matters of mutual interest," the U.S. State Department said.

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