Welcome to the March 3, 2016 bulletin of key policy decisions and high-impact news from India, presented by the Embassy of India, in Washington D.C.
KEY POLICY DECISIONS
Highlights of Indian Budget 2016-17
Speeded up road construction - total allocation of $14.25 Billion; Bill to amend Companies Act - enabling environment for start-ups; Financial Data Management Center to be set up; New Derivative Products; Bankruptcy Code to be introduced; Massive Rollout of ATMs to be undertaken over next three years.
A mechanism for sharing information for tracking satellite movement, avoiding collisions and identifying potential threats to space and ground assets has been set up between India and the U.S. as part of their growing space partnership.
The Cabinet has approved seven new rail projects, including six railway lines and a railway bridge, worth $1.6 billion. The projects, which include double- and triple-laning of railway lines, will be undertaken with extra budgetary resources, the Government said.
India Eases Customs Rules for Local Arms of Multinationals
India has simplified rules governing pricing of imports by related parties including Indian arms of import-dependent multinational companies, such as Swarovski, Apple, BMW, Audi and Bausch & Lomb, a move that is expected to significantly improve ease of doing business for such entities.
New Rules Aim to Make it Easier to Acquire Land for Solar Parks
In order to speed up the process of acquiring land for solar park projects and keeping costs down, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has come out with fresh guidelines that allow state governments to use unproductive and non-agricultural land for the purpose, and emphasize minimum use of private land.
Economic Survey Sees 7-7.5% Growth for Current Fiscal Year
The Economic Survey for 2015-16 has pegged India's growth for the current fiscal year in the 7-7.5 percent range. The survey said that the growth rate of GDP at constant market prices is projected to rise to 7.6 percent in 2015-16 from 7.2 percent in 2014-15.
Foreign Investment Up 40% to $29 Billion in April-Dec. FY 2016
Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country increased by 40 percent to $29 billion during April-December in the current fiscal year. The foreign investment inflows were at $21 billion in the same period of the previous year. The computer hardware and software segment attracted the highest FDI of $5.3 billion during the period.
Indian, U.S. Navies Hold Talks on Carrier Technology Cooperation
Top U.S. and Indian Navy officials have concluded the second meeting of the Joint Working Group on Aircraft Carrier Technology Cooperation, constituted under the auspices of the Indo-U.S. Defence Trade and Technology Initiative. Various aspects of cooperation in the field of aircraft carrier technology were discussed.
Caterpillar Bullish on India, in Contrast to Global Outlook
Caterpillar is bullish on India, in sharp contrast to its outlook of the global markets, where it has closed 20 plants and slashed workforce to reduce costs amid a deepening slowdown. The company has invested $500 million in setting up manufacturing units in India.
Honda Starts World's Largest Scooter Plant in Gujarat
Gujarat is now home to the world's largest scooter manufacturing site, as Japanese two-wheeler giant Honda started its fourth plant in India at Vithalapur, a scooters-only facility. The plant aims to produce up to 1.2 million scooters per year by mid-2016.