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.
Key Policy Decisions
India to Widen Scope for Currency Hedging by Foreign Investors   

India is stepping up efforts to make its markets more attractive by allowing global investors to use derivatives more widely to limit losses from rupee swings. The Reserve Bank of India plans to let foreigners protect the interest income on local bond holdings for up to 12 months, it said in a statement.


Reserve Bank Eases Rules for Rough Diamond Imports   

Importers of rough diamonds can now send advance remittances to any overseas mining company, a reformist move designed to improve India's diamond-polishing market, the world's largest. Prior to the new rule, importers could send advance payments to only nine government-authorized miners. 


Govt. Seeks Better Clarity on Manufactured Commodities Pricing 
In an effort to better understand pure price changes in manufactured commodities without factoring in the effects of tax fluctuations, a high-level government committee has proposed doing away with the excise duty component on manufactured goods while computing the wholesale price index. The proposal is aimed at making the inflation numbers free of the changes in the duty structure announced in the budget each year.  
Reserve Bank to Figure Exchange Rate Based On Consumer Inflation   
To improve India's competitiveness with international trading partners in currency exchange, the Reserve Bank will now compute the Real Effective Exchange Rate based on the Consumer Price Index, or consumer inflation, instead of the Wholesale Price Index, which had been previously used.

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High-Impact News
Walmart to Open 50 Wholesale Stores in India by 2019

Deciding to focus on the cash-and-carry segment in India, retail giant Walmart plans to open 50 wholesale stores in the next four to five years. Following its breakup with former joint-venture partner the Bharti group, Walmart said it is also strengthening compliance procedures. "Wal-Mart is committed to India and we are excited about our growth plans," Walmart Asia President and CEO Scott Price.  

 A U.S. research facility has offered to help India solve its ever-growing energy problem by aiding India's energy sector in developing and implementing its own carbon capture technologies. India's Carbon Clean Solutions will be working with the U.S. Energy Department's National Carbon Capture Center. The facility was created in 2008, and has made significant strides toward reducing the amount of toxic gases emitted into the atmosphere.

Indian Tourism to U.S. Jumps       


The number of Indian tourists visiting the U.S. is likely to cross the 1 million mark in 2015, according to a report by the U.S. Commerce Department. India is the third fastest-growing source of tourists to the U.S., with the number of visits expected to rise 54 percent between 2013 and 2018.


Online Retail Hits $12.6 Billion in 2013, up 33%
Online retail in India reached $12.6 billion last year, an increase of 33 percent over 2012, an Internet trade association said, adding that it expects online retail to grow further as policy and foreign direct investment issues are addressed and delivery logistics improve. 

Private Equity Investments Double in 2014 Q1    


Private equity firms invested $2.27 billion in the January-March quarter of 2014 compared to $1.18 billion in the same quarter last year, an increase of 93 percent. The number of deals was slightly lower at 89 transactions compared to 103 last year, implying that value per transaction has more than doubled. There were five $100 million or more investments in this quarter versus one last year


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