Welcome to the November 20, 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

India, U.S. Sign Pact to Collaborate on Infrastructure  


A memorandum of understanding has been signed between the Department of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, the Government of India and the U.S. Commerce Department to establish an Infrastructure Collaboration Platform. Under the agreement, both governments will facilitate U.S. industry participation in Indian infrastructure projects.                                                                                                 


India, U.S. Agree on Food Reserves, End WTO Impasse    


Paving the way for implementation of trade facilitation pacts at WTO, India and US have resolved an impasse over food security related issues while safeguarding interest of Indian farmers. With the US agreeing to support India's proposal on public stockpilin g of food, it would now go for ratification by the WTO General Council to facilitate signing of Trade Facilitation Agreement that has been stalled for months. Announcing the breakthrough, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that India and the US have successfully resolved their differences on the public stockholding issue for food security purposes in WTO.    


National Industrial Corridor Development Authority to be Set Up


The Government is creating a National Industrial Corridor Development Authority to carry out project development activities, appraise and approve projects and implement and coordinate all central efforts for industrial corridor development. "Renewed efforts are now being made to not only cover the existing gaps in physical infrastructure but going much beyond that and creating a world-class physical infrastructure," Additional Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion Shatrughna Singh said. 


Corporate Affairs Ministry Gives Clarity on Foreign Currency Bond Issuance    


Provisions related to prospectus and allotment of securities under the new Companies Act will not be applicable to foreign currency bonds that are issued exclusively to persons living outside India. The clarification from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, which is implementing the Companies Act, has come after consultations with the Finance Ministry and Securities and Exchange Board of India.


India Sets Up Committee to Expedite Investment from Japan


India has set up a special committee to expedite Japanese investment in India - in addition to the Japan Plus team constituted last month -- to research, promote and facilitate Japanese businesses seeking to invest in India. In September, Prime Minister Modi visited Japan and urged businesses there to set up shop in India and turn the country into a manufacturing hub.


High-Impact News

India-U.S. Joint Effort to Derive Non-Food Biofuels by 2017


In a significant step toward generating biofuels from non-food plant sources, the U.S.-India joint consortium for the development of sustainable advanced lignocellulosic biofuel systems will spearhead research in the production of commercially viable biofuels. Set up by both governments, the Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center by 2017 will work to deliver a model for their production using non-food feedstock crops - energy sorghum, bamboo, pearl millet and switch grass.


India-U.S. Higher Education Dialogue Wraps Up   


The recent India-U.S. Higher Education Dialogue held in New Delhi explored collaboration between the two countries, especially regarding community colleges, massive open online courses, student and faculty exchange and skill development. 


Inflation Drops to 5-Year Low          

The wholesale price index-based inflation dropped for the fifth straight month to 1.77 percent in October, the lowest in more than five years on the back of softening food and fuel prices. Factory output posted a moderate 2.5 percent growth in September, up from two consecutive flat months. 


OECD: India Only Major Economy to See Improved Momentum   

India is the "only major economy" that is projected to see a pickup in growth momentum whereas mixed trends are predicted for the developed world, Paris-based think-tank OECD said. Most of the major economies -- developed and developing -- including the U.S., Brazil, China and Russia, are expected to witness stable growth momentum.  


Cisco to Invest $1.7 Billion in Indian Digital Drive

Nearly three months after Cisco Chairman & CEO John Chambers said he will "bet big on India," the world's biggest computer networking company detailed plans to invest about $1.7 billion in a year, becoming the first multinational to make such a commitment since the Modi Government took over

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