Welcome to the March 19, 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. Raises Foreign Investment in Insurance Sector from 26% to 49%     


In a major breakthrough to the Government's efforts to push through reforms, the foreign direct investment cap in the insurance sector was raised from 26 percent to 49 percent. 

Ease of Doing Business: Only 3 Documents Now Needed for Imports, Exports          

To improve its global "Ease of Doing Business" ranking, India has reduced the number of mandatory documents required for import and export of goods from 10 to three. The move will also lead to reduction in transaction cost and time. The new rule will take effect on April 1.


Make In India: Two Foreign Investment Proposals in Railways OK'd   


In line with the "Make In India" campaign, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has approved two big-ticket foreign direct investment proposals for setting up diesel and electric locomotive plants in Bihar at a cost of $382 million.



Govt. Lets 7 State-Owned Banks Raise Funds from Markets                   

The Government will allow seven state-owned public-sector banks (PSBs) raise funds from the market in order to meet their capital requirements, citing limited fiscal space to recapitalize the lenders. The move follows the Government's December approval to let PSBs raise funds from markets by diluting the Government's holding to 52 percent.  

Government Clarifies Rules for Foreign Investment in Construction


The Government has clarified rules for foreign direct investment (FDI) in the construction sector, specifying that the minimum capitalization norm for FDI in construction is project-specific and not company-specific. After the minimum capitalization rules are met, FDI can be brought in for a period of 10 years or until the project is completed.

High-Impact News

Jaishankar: India-U.S. Relations Have Entered 'New Era'          

India and the United States have entered a "new era'' in the field of doing business, as the attention deficit that plagued the relationship has been done away with, said Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar.

Govt. Eyes $3.9 Billion Foreign Investment in Insurance Sector            

The Government's hike of the foreign investment cap in the insurance sector is expected to bring in $3.9 billion from overseas, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said. Sinha welcomed an announcement by French insurance firm AXA and the U.K.'s Bupa for raising investment in an Indian joint venture.     


BRIC Founder: India Poised to be World's 3rd-Largest Economy               


As India's investment climate appears to improve, the country is poised to emerge as the world's third-largest economy, said Jim O'Neill, former chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, who coined the acronym "BRIC." 

European Investment Bank to Open First Office in India
Impressed by India's economic reforms and its growth potential, the EU-owned European Investment Bank is planning to open its first office in India soon to significantly expand operations. The bank has already started negotiations with the Reserve Bank of India to facilitate low-cost funding to infrastructure projects and other needs.  

U.S. Rep. Ed Royce: Indo-U.S. Relations Have Reached New Height
The relationship between India and the U.S. has reached a new pinnacle, said California Congressman Ed Royce, who pledged to work further on boosting bilateral ties during a visit to India. Royce is the new Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The Bipartisan Congress delegation that met with the Indian Prime Minister and other top officials included Nita Lowey, Ranking Member, House Appropriations Committee, Luke Messer, Member, House Financial Services Committee, Pete Sessions, Chairman, House Rules Committee, Matt Salmon, Chairman, House Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee on Asia and Pacific, Ami Bera, Co-Chair House India Caucus, and George Holding, Co-Chair House India Caucus. 
India is Largest Importer of Weapons
India has yet again emerged as the world's largest importer of weapons and military equipment, accounting for 15 percent of global imports, according to a new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said.  

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