Welcome to the September 25, 2014 bulletin of key policy decisions and high-impact news from India, presented by the Embassy of India, in Washington D.C.
High-Impact News

India Creates Space History: Successfully places lowest cost Mars Mission in Orbit

India created space history by successfully placing its low-cost Mars spacecraft in orbit around the Red Planet in its very first attempt, catapulting the country into an elite club of three nations. European, American and Russian probes have managed to orbit or land on the planet, but after several attempts. At just $74 million, the mission is less than the estimated $100 million budget of the sci-fi blockbuster "Gravity".


Foreign Direct Investment More Than Doubles to $3.5 Billion in July

Foreign Direct Investment into India more than doubled to $3.5 billion in July, according to data released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, up from the July 2013 total of $1.7 billion. During April-July of this year, the foreign inflows grew by 52 percent to $10.7 billion as compared to $7.1 billion in the same period last year. Telecommunications received the most foreign investment at $2.3 billion, followed by services ($1 billion), pharmaceuticals ($886 million) and construction ($430 million).

India May be World's Fastest-Growing Exporter by 2030       

India is likely to become the world's fastest-growing exporter by 2030, according to a study. The latest HSBC Trade Forecast said that India has the potential to become world's fifth-largest exporter of goods by value, up from its current 14th spot.  

Indian, Chinese Businesses Sign Deals Worth $3.4 Billion

Indian businesses signed deals worth $3.4 billion with their Chinese counterparts during China President XI Jinping's visit to India. Domestic low-cost carrier IndiGo Airlines struck an agreement worth $2.6 billion with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) for leasing and financing 30 aircraft, highlighting the raft of deals.

HCL Tech to Invest $9 Million in North Carolina, Add 1,200 Jobs

Indian information technology services company HCL Technologies said its American subsidiary will add about 1,200 jobs in North Carolina over the next five years. HCL America said it will expand in the Raleigh suburb of Cary, where it now employs about 800 people. 

Key Policy Decisions
Modi to Unveil Measures Meant to Ease Doing Business in India     

Prime Minister Modi is set to unveil measures highlighting his Government's initiatives to make it easier to do business in India in his first major interaction with industry captains after assuming office. This effort forms an integral part of Modi's "Make In India" pitch aimed at altering the negative narrative of uncertainty and red-tapism that haunts the country's investment climate. Among the big-ticket measures Modi is expected to flag are the modernization of restrictive labor, environmental and foreign direct investment rules.



First Set of Defense Foreign Direct Investment Proposals OK'd


The Foreign Investment Promotion Board has approved the first set of defense proposals to have arrived since the Government recently raised foreign direct investment limits in the defense sector. The board cleared 21 of the 35 proposals worth a total of $162 million. The projects include those of Bharti Shipyard, Solar Industries and Kineco Kaman Composites.


Govt. Plans to Build Nearly 20 Miles of Road per Day           


In a bid to boost infrastructure development, the Government plans to build nearly 20 miles of road per day, remove hurdles facing several projects and submit a new motor vehicles bill, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said. "In two years' time the Road Transport and Highways sector will undergo revolutionary changes. The transport and shipping sectors will contribute at least a 2 percent increase to the country's GDP," Gadkari said.


More Than $13 Billion Lined Up for New Oil and Gas Projects

State-owned petroleum explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corporation said that it would invest $13.4 billion to bring new discoveries into production and check the decline in output from aging fields. The company has taken up 15 projects for development. Of these, seven are complete and eight are under implementation.

Govt. to Approve 17 Food Processing Facilities  

The Government will approve 17 food processing facilities across the country over the next few months, attracting investments of about $344 million, Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said. Badal said the Government has sanctioned 20 new cold chain projects to improve food distribution within the country.

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