Welcome to the September 11, 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 Signs Civil Nuclear Pact with Australia

India can now get uranium from Australia to meet its energy requirements, with the two countries inking a bilateral civil nuclear agreement. The deal was announced by visiting Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, after talks with Prime Minister Modi. 

Dell: India could be $21 Billion Market for Us

Dell says India will soon become its fourth-largest global market. The company, which earned $12.5 billion across Asia last year, says it expects to have a fantastic run in India over the next 3-5 years, as the company transitions from a PC-maker to an enterprise-solutions company. Dell is conservatively eyeing a $21-billion market opportunity in India, said Alok Ohrie, President & Managing Director of Dell India.

India Home to World's Second-Longest-Running Nuclear Reactor     

India's nuclear power program reached a new milestone after Unit 5 of the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station became the second-longest-running reactor in the world after operating for 765 continuous days. "This is not only an emotional moment, but a moment of pride. There are only 10 reactors in the world that have crossed 500 days of uninterrupted operation," said Department of Atomic Energy Secretary Ratan Sinha.  

Agriculture Minister: Govt. to Create Farm Income Insurance Plan
The Government plans to introduce a Farm Income Insurance plan to protect earnings expected from crop yield, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said. The minister also said that his Ministry would provide soil health cards to all farmers in the country that will allow them to test their soil. 

Reserve Bank: BRICS Bank Not Challenging Existing Institutions 
The move to establish a BRICS bank is meant to provide long-term loans and is not aimed at challenging existing multilateral financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank, Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan said. Rather, the BRICS bank is meant to provide risk capital to long-term projects, he said. India will hold the presidency of the bank for the first six years. The New Development Bank, to be based in Shanghai, should begin operations in about two years.

Study: Indian Firms Look to Acquire U.S. Companies

Indian companies, particularly in the capital goods sector, are looking at the U.S. to be a base for manufacturing for North American markets and are actively scouting for acquisitions in the technology sector, according to Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu consultants. Infrastructure firm Larsen & Toubro already has its eye on the U.S. market, thanks to the shale gas boom here, the company said.

Key Policy Decisions

India Signs ASEAN Trade Deal


The Government has signed a free-trade agreement (FTA) on services and investment with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), opening the 10-nation bloc to sectors such as IT. India and ASEAN already have an FTA on goods.

RuPay Gateway Gets Traction  

Prime Minister Modi's financial inclusion plan launched late last month is notching up impressive numbers and expects to meet its target of opening 75 million personal bank accounts within 100 days, giving payment gateway RuPay a boost in fortunes. Payment gateways are platforms that help banks facilitate electronic money transfers. India is only the fourth country in the world after the U.S., Japan and China to have its own national payment gateway. 



Govt. Clears 22 Foreign Direct Investment Proposals Worth $535 Million       

The Government has cleared foreign direct investment proposals for KSK Energy Ventures, Norway-based Telenor Mobile, InterGlobe Aviation and of 19 others worth $535 million.  

New Panel to Keep Eye on Govt. Expenditures

The Government issued terms of reference for the recently named Expenditure Management Commission, to be chaired by former Reserve Bank chief Bimal Jalan. The panel will suggest measures to improve efficiencies in the existing expenditure classification system, including the focus on capital expenditure. The panel, to be headquartered in Delhi, will give an interim report before the Budget of 2015-16 and its final report before the Budget of 2016-17.

Companies Raise $2.8 Billion in Capital 

Indian companies have raised close to $2.8 billion in capital during the first four months of the 2014-15 fiscal year via the qualified institutional placement (QIP) tool. The figure is already higher than $2.2 billion raised through the same route during the entire 2013-14 fiscal year.  Many more firms have lined up plans to raise capital through QIP. 


Govt. Provides Clarity on Audit Provision in New Companies Act
To remove difficulties faced by stakeholders, the Corporate Affairs Ministry has made changes to provisions regarding appointment of auditors by the Comptroller and Auditor General for "deemed government companies" under the new companies law. 

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