Welcome to the latest 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's Nuclear Energy Capacity Could Jump Three Fold by 2023-24: PM Narendra Modi  

"India's self-reliance in the nuclear fuel cycle and the commercial success of the indigenous reactors demonstrated that with vision, resolve and hard work India could be a front-ranking country in the most challenging fields," Prime Minister Modi said. "The department of atomic energy should strive to meet the target of increasing nuclear capacity threefold from the present level of 5,780 Mw by 2023-24, within the projected cost," he said during his visit to the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.


Finance Minister: GDP Growth to Increase in Current Fiscal Year

"The growth rate of the country is expected to increase during 2014-15, compared to 2013-14," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told the Lok Sabha. Economic growth is expected to improve during the current fiscal year helped by a revival in industrial growth, improved fiscal health and an improving external economic situation, he told Parliament. 
Govt. Allocates $332 Million to Food Processing Industries 
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced an allocation of $332 million as a separate National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development fund for food processing industries during discussions on the General Budget in the Parliament. 

Wal-Mart is investing $103 million in Indian wholesale business

Wal-Mart is investing more than $100 million in its wholesale-store network in India."The equity infusion is to fund the working capital and capex requirements of our cash-and-carry business in India," Rajneesh Kumar, vice president for corporate affairs at Wal-Mart India said. India's retail market, with about $400 billion a year in sales, is expected to expand to more than $1.3 trillion by 2020.  

Foreign Investors Bid $808 Million for Govt. Bonds  

Showing robust interest among foreign investors, an auction of government bonds has attracted bids worth $808 million -- almost double the amount of securities on offer at $419 million. This was the second such auction this month, after earlier bonds worth $917 million attracted bids totaling more than $1.1 billion on July 1.     

Volkswagen Plans $250 Million Investment in India, Eyes Capacity Boost

German carmaker Volkswagen plans to spend $250 million in India over the next five to six years. Mahesh Kodumudi, president and managing director of Volkswagen India, said the company could increase its Indian plant capacity from 130,000 to 200,000 cars per year. VW may also build engines in India.


Key Policy Decisions

Finance Minister Charts Roadmap for Economic Recovery

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has laid out his roadmap for economic recovery; it includes bringing civility in tax regime, maintaining low rates, rationalizing the subsidy system and boosting infrastructure and housing. Justifying budget provisions aimed at attracting private investments, including foreign direct investment in sectors such as defense and insurance, he said that these were necessary to boost industry and manufacturing and would lead to job creation.


Reserve Bank Aims to Revamp, Improve Foreign Direct Investment Regulations 

The Reserve Bank of India has reviewed and revamped its pricing guidelines in order to provide greater freedom and flexibility for parties concerned under foreign direct investment framework.

Govt. Seeks to Revive Special Economic Zones
The Commerce Department is scheduled to kick off discussions on a special dispensation for Special Economic Zones and has already flagged the issue to development commissioners along with looking at ways to simplify the procedures in the zones.

Finance Ministry Creates Panel to Reduce Tax Litigations 
The Finance Ministry has set up a committee consisting of officials from the Central Board of Direct Taxes to suggest ways to reduce disputes at various tax appeal forums. The Committee will "examine the assessment orders, appellate orders and scrutiny report for the appeal to the [India Tax Appellate Tribunal] related to orders...and give its recommendations for different income groups, separately for corporate and non-corporate assesses."

Govt. Examines National Regulator for Appraising Environmental Projects 
Minister of State for Environment Prakash Javadekar has informed the Rajya Sabha that the Government is examining the feasibility of setting up a national regulator for appraising projects, enforcing environmental conditions and imposing penalty on polluters. 

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