Welcome to the September 18, 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 Will be World's 3rd-Largest Steel Maker by 2015

Ongoing expansion of India's steel industry will make the country the world's third-largest steel maker by next year, with an annual capacity of 121 million tons. The Modi Government has set an annual steel production target of 330 million tons, which would make India the world's No. 2 steel maker by 2025.  

Gilead Teams with Indian Firms to Sell $1000-Per-Pill Drug for $10

The maker of one of the world's costliest drugs said it has struck agreements with seven Indian generic drug makers to sell lower-cost versions of the medicine - a $1,000-a-pill hepatitis C treatment - in poorer countries. Gilead Sciences, a California-based drug maker, also said it will begin selling its own version of the drug in India and other developing countries for only $10 per pill.

Dunkin' Donuts Enters Bangalore, to Open 25 Stores in India This Year      

U.S.-based chain Dunkin' Donuts, which partners in India with fast-food operator Jubilant Foodworks Ltd, has opened its first store in the south Indian market in Bangalore. This is the 36th Dunkin' Donuts store in India. Ajay Kaul, chief executive officer of Jubilant Foodworks, also said the company is looking to open 25 new stores in India this fiscal year. Three more stores are planned for Bangalore.  

Study: India is Top Destination for Multinational Companies

Asia is the top destination for multinational corporations, with India being the leading country, followed by China and Malaysia, says a study by London-based global management consulting firm AT Kearney. The study measures the underlying fundamentals of 51 countries based on metrics organized into three major categories: financial attractiveness, people skills and availability, and business environment. India is unrivalled in both scale and people skills, the study said.

Modi Effect? India Likely to Break into $2 Trillion Club
India could soon join an exclusive group of nine countries whose annual gross domestic product (GDP) is above $2 trillion. According to Nomura analysts, India's nominal GDP could finally breach the $2 trillion threshold this year and reach nearly $3 trillion by fiscal year 2016-17.

Amazon Plans Wholesale Portal for India, First Outside U.S.

Amazon is preparing to launch a portal for wholesale merchants in India, the first country outside the U.S. where such an initiative is being planned by the Seattle-based company. Amazon has grown rapidly and aggressively in India, challenging Flipkart for market leadership. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced that his company would invest $2 billion in India one day after Flipkart said it had received $1 billion in funding.

Key Policy Decisions

'Make In India' Gets $164 Million Boost


In the first of a series of initiatives under Prime Minister Modi's "Make In India" campaign, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs cleared $164 million to raise competitiveness in the capital goods sector. The aim of the project, to cost $3.2 billion ultimately, is to boost manufacturing on a sustainable basis and through it, overall economic growth. "This is a pilot project. We plan to expand it across the country," heavy industries minister Anant Geete said.

India Will Not Impose Dumping Duty on Solar Panels   

India has decided not to impose an anti-dumping duty on imports of solar panels from countries such as the U.S. and China, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said. Domestic power firms have been lobbying against the imposition of the duty as the move would have led to higher equipment costs. 



Central Ministries Can Approve Projects Up to $164 Million         

In a move that will hasten decision making, the Government empowered Central Ministries and Departments to approve projects up to $164 million by themselves. The change will help ministries such as Road Transport and Highways and those implementing social sector plans, where investments are large and require quick decisions.

India to Create Four New Strategic Oil Reserves

The Government plans to set up at least four more strategic oil reserves in an effort to store enough oil to sustain a 90-to-100-day emergency, upping the current reserve capacity of 70 to 75 days. The new reserves would have a combined capacity of about 13.8 million tons.

Phase-V Approval for Unique Identification Project  

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave its approval for Phase-V of the Unique Identification (UID) plan, which generates identification numbers for Indian residents. Phase-V involves enrollments in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand. The Unique Identification Authority of India has been given a target of generating 100 million UID numbers by 2015.   


Govt. Makes it Easier to Build Private Roads
To speed awarding of road-building projects and to lure private investment at a faster pace, the Government has doubled the project amount that requires approval by the Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPPAC) to $164 million. Previously, the PPPAC's approval was necessary for any project of more than $82 million

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