Welcome to the May 7th, 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. Extends Defense Industrial License Validity to 7 Years
To improve ease of doing business and boost defense manufacturing, the Government has decided to increase the validity of the defense industrial license to seven years with a provision for further extension of three years. The Commerce and Industry Ministry said this is being done in view of the long gestation period of defence contracts to mature.
India, U.S. Agree to To Renew Focus on Agricultural Cooperation
Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and U.S. Ambassador Richard Verma agreed to give renewed focus on cooperation in agriculture between both countries and initiate immediate steps for renewing the MoU signed in 2010 at the earliest possible with inclusion of new areas in the light of changing requirements and circumstances.
Modi's 100 Smart Cities Project Gets Cabinet OK
The Cabinet has cleared Prime Minister Modi's 100 Smart Cities project in a bid to recast the urban landscape of the country and to driving economic growth.
Lower House Approves 2015-16 Finance Bill
The bill was passed after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley moved as many as 41 official amendments. The amendments include a number of tax concessions to foreign companies on the minimum alternate tax (MAT) front. The biggest relief to foreign companies is that they will no longer be subjected to MAT on any interest, royalty or fees for technical services.
Govt. Committee Seeks Input on Clarifying Tax Laws
A Government committee assembled by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley seeks input from stakeholders in the trade and industry sectors on ways the nation's tax laws can be clarified.
India and U.S. Aim Higher Trade Targets
Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Secretary, Amitabh Kant, said that a $500-billion target for India-U.S. bilateral trade is achievable if India continued to move on a high growth trajectory and managed to attract investments from US-based companies."We are prepared to do all the handholding required to help American companies create wealth for themselves and India," he said.
U.S. to Sell India $96 Million in Support for C-130J Super Hercules
The U.S. State Department has approved the sale of $96 million worth of support for C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to India to enable the Indian Air Force to remain mission-ready for disaster relief and international humanitarian assistance needs, such as in quake-hit neighboring Nepal.
Food Processing Attracts $422 mn Foreign Investment in Apr-Jan
The food processing sector attracted foreign direct investment of $422 million during the April-January period of 2014-15. "Food processing is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the economy and the sector is growing at 8.4 percent,"Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said.
Cisco CEO: India Is a Country I Double Down On
"Emerging countries are about 54 percent of the world's GDP, and in that context, they can be a large share of the total consumption of technology," said outgoing Cisco CEO John Chambers at the Cisco Partner Summit 2015. "We feel India is poised for an explosive growth. If there is one emerging country I would double down on, that is India."
Govt. to Award 6,200 Miles of National Highways This Year
The Government said it has set a target of awarding 6,200 miles of highways in 2015-16. The source of funds includes the Government, proceeds from the central road fund, reinvestment of toll revenue, debt and equity from the developers. The sector also allows 100 percent foreign direct investment.
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