Welcome to the December 11, 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 Sets Up Committee To Fast Track Investments From The U.S.          


The Government has set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee to fast track investment proposals from the U.S. in India. The Committee will identify bottlenecks faced by U.S. investors and address them in consultation with the agencies and state governments concerned while interacting with U.S. companies.                                                                                        


Cabinet OKs Changes to Companies Act for Ease of Doing Business          


Within months of the new Companies Act coming into force, the Government has approved a slew of changes to make the law easier for companies to do business. This is among the first major initiatives by the new Government to make changes in the country's regulatory framework to improve its global ranking for ease of doing business.       


Govt. Sets Up High Level Panel on Tax Issues   


The Government has set up a High Level Committee to interact with trade and industry and identify areas where clarity on tax laws is needed, a move aimed at boosting confidence among taxpayers, one of several initiatives the Government has unveiled regarding taxation.


Govt. to Set Up Special Zone for Diamond Trading


The Government will set up a Special Notified Zone for import and trading of rough diamonds, a move aimed at boosting the gems and jewelry sector of the country. When established, the zone will help check middlemen and encourage overseas diamond mining companies to open their offices at designated zones to sell their produce directly to Indian manufacturers.


New Vocational University Would Take In All Industrial Training Institutes


The Labour Ministry plans to open a first-of-its-kind national vocational university that will take in all Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), seeking to improve standards and bring uniformity among the schools that supply workers to the manufacturing sector. All 11,500 ITIs and hundreds of similar training schools overseen by the Labour Ministry will come under the proposed National Workers Vocational University, Minister for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya said.


High-Impact News

Ambassador Dr. S. Jaishankar: 'Growing Convergence Of Our Interests' Shifted India-U.S. Relationship 

On the eve of the launch of HuffPost India, Ambassador Jaishankar spoke with HuffPost on the India-U.S. relationship, trade and investment, media and yoga.

Govt. Unveils Indian Trade Portal 

Thanks to a new Government web portal, businesses can now learn about key Indian trade laws, including information about Most-Favored Nation status and preferential tariffs, India's Free Trade Agreements with other nations, rules of origin and technical barriers to trade faced by Indian exporters. The Indian Trade Portal (http://tradeportalofindia.org) will make available important data for exporters and importers on one site, in a user-friendly manner, increasing ease of doing business for trade and industry, said Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, at the site launch.  

BofA: India Most Attractive Destination for Investment


India is now the best-placed economy among global investment destinations as it emerges from a decade-long slump to ride a wave of Modi-led enthusiasm, said Brian Moynihan, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bank of America. "The story in India is a relatively stronger story," Moynihan said. "They have a clear view of what they want to accomplish." 

Dell Makes India its No. 2 Research Hub Outside U.S.

Dell's new research division is expanding its presence to India, adding to its sizeable research and development presence in the country and pool of 2,500 engineers in Bengaluru and Chennai. Dell Chief Research Officer Jai Menon said that he has chosen India as the next location outside the U.S. to grow his team. "The IT talent in the country as well as the great universities here make it the right place for us to expand our presence."   

GAIL Arm to Source Natural Gas from Maryland Port


A subsidiary of India's state-owned natural gas utility GAIL Ltd. will source gas at the Cove Point Terminal in Maryland from a subsidiary of WGL Holdings, a large U.S. natural gas company. The deal aims to meet India's rising demand for natural gas. Supplies are expected to commence from 2017. GAIL termed the agreement a "milestone". 

Investor-Friendly Framework to Make Railways More Efficient

The Railway Ministry will establish an investor-friendly framework to transform the national transporter into an efficient organization, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu told a large gathering of private investors and financial institutions. He added that the railways would continue to be owned by the Government "but we welcome the private sector in infrastructure development."     

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