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
Rules eased to aid investment in food-processing sector

India's cabinet committee on economic affairs made investment in the country's growing food-processing sector easier by modifying rules related to building new processing facilities. The changes affect construction in the country's "mega food parks," the sprawling developments that efficiently establish farms around clusters of food-processing facilities.
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India, U.S. ink deal on pharma

The Indian health ministry signed an agreement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to cooperate on joint audits and inspections of pharmaceutical facilities in India. "This is a big step to understand global benchmarks," said G.N. Singh, India's drug controller general. The U.S. is India's largest pharma market.


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Export licensing relief for Indian defense companies coming

India will ease export licensing regulations for Indian defense companies and the Ordnance Factory Board to enable them sell Indian-developed products overseas. Big beneficiaries of the new rules will include companies such as Hindustan Aeronautics, Garden Reach Ship Enterprise and Goa Shipyard. Hindustan wants to sell its Dhruv advanced light helicopter and Dornier aircraft overseas, while Garden Reach and Goa seek foreign buyers for naval and offshore patrol vessels.
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No capital gains taxes for foreign investors on Indian shares

Foreign investors buying or selling shares of Indian companies listed overseas will not be liable for capital gains tax, the financial ministry said. Shares issued by unlisted Indian companies on overseas exchanges will be treated on par with the American depository receipt and global depository receipt systems. This follows the action allowing unlisted Indian companies to list overseas.
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Reserve Bank eases FDI exit rules

The Reserve Bank of India relaxed foreign investment regulations to allow non-resident investors to exit their investments subject to the conditions of a minimum lock-in period and without any assured returns.   


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High-Impact News
India, U.S. trade hits all-time high of $63.7 billion in 2013
Trade in goods between the U.S. and India reached an all-time high of $63.7 billion in 2013, with a nearly $20 billion balance in favor of India, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Last year, the U.S. exported $21.8 billion worth of goods to India, while importing $41.8 billion worth of goods, adding up to an increase of 1.7 percent from 2012. Recently implemented trade mechanisms, such as the Ministerial Trade Policy Forum and the Ministerial Economic and Financial Partnership, have boosted trade between the two countries.
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Ambassador Jaishankar: India, U.S. on same page
Dr. S. Jaishankar, India's new Ambassador to the U.S., said the "big issues" in bilateral ties between the two countries no longer exist, adding that India and the U.S. have moved beyond times when they were "not on the same page." Speaking at a reception organized by the Indo-American Chamber of Greater Houston recently, Jaishankar said: "The big issues are gone now and broadly we are thinking alike. And people want us to give suggestions, are looking up to us for solutions to the problems."
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U.S. comes to India with more firepower
The U.S. brought the largest industry delegation to the recently concluded Indian DefExpo 2014, the annual defense industry exposition. The U.S.-India Business Council brought an executive mission to demonstrate the heightened Pentagon interest in industrial partnership and co-production between the U.S. and India. Leading U.S. defense contractors at DefExpo included Boeing, General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin.
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Heinz, Cargill expanding India business

U.S. food giants Heinz and Cargill plan to expand their business in India by acquisition. Heinz said it will focus on its core brands, acquire local food companies and reposition its flagship brand Complan to boost its business in the country. Cargill is buying Dalmia Continental's olive oil business. Dalmia sells the Leonardo brand of olive oil in India, with a market share of about 25 percent.   


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Small sedans may be next hot cars in India
Carmakers including Ford and Hyundai showcased compact sedans at India's largest auto show, which wrapped up this week, targeting what they think could be the next hot market in a country long dominated by ultra-cheap hatchbacks. Global carmakers are still banking on emerging economies including India, the world's sixth-biggest auto market by volume, to drive long-term growth despite a recent slowing in demand.
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Facebook: India a key source of our mobile growth

Emerging markets such as India are a "key source" of growth for Facebook, with increasing number of users logging onto the site through handsets, driving up ad revenue 76 per cent to $2.34 billion during the final quarter of 2013.


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