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

Reserve Bank to Ease Curbs on Exchange-Traded Currency Futures


The Reserve Bank of India may allow foreign institutional investors to participate in the exchange-traded currency derivatives market. The Bank has also relaxed some trading curbs imposed in 2013. In the April monetary policy statement, the Bank's Governor said foreign institutional investors will soon be allowed to hedge forex exposure in the exchange-traded currency market. 

Helping to Understand New CSR Laws   


To help companies understand and comply with corporate social responsibility (CSR) obligations under new legislation, the Government plans to come out with various initiatives, including a detailed set of 'Frequently Asked Questions' (FAQs) that explain the new laws. 


Reserve Bank Asks Banks to Draft Policy for Overseas Property Deals  
The Reserve Bank of India directed banks to draft a policy for purchase, sale and renting of property overseas. "Banks should ensure that all the future transactions relating to purchase/sale of real estate as well as acquiring /letting out property on lease/rental basis at overseas centers are undertaken in accordance with the Board approved policy," the Bank said. These rules should also ensure compliance with all the applicable laws of the host country.  
Next Phase of Finance Ministry Reforms to Focus on Manufacturing, Infrastructure
The Finance Ministry is preparing an outline for the next phase of economic reforms that can be presented to the new government to bolster manufacturing, infrastructure development and farm productivity. The finance ministry's plan includes creating an ecosystem of "nuts and bolts" that will not only boost growth but help the government tackle food inflation, forcing a tight monetary policy.

Reserve Bank Extends Overseas Borrowing Rate Rules to June
The Reserve Bank of India said existing guidelines on interest rates for overseas borrowings will continue for another three months. "On a review, it has been decided that the all-in-cost ceiling...will continue to be applicable till June 30, 2014, and is subject to review thereafter. All other aspects of the ECB policy remain unchanged," the Bank said.

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High-Impact News
South Carolina Companies Seek to Hike Exports to India

Indian-American South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will lead a high-level delegation to India later this year, aimed at significantly increasing the state's exports to the country. Haley, only the second Indian-American governor, plans to stop in New Delhi, Punjab, Mumbai and Chennai during her visit in November. In 2012, U.S. investment in India was $28.4 billion, up 15.3 percent from 2011. At the same time, India invested $5.2 billion in the U.S., up 6.7 percent. India's chief U.S. investments are concentrated in the professional, scientific, technical services and banking sectors.  

India's Overseas Investment Doubles to $5.2 Billion in March
Overseas direct investment by Indian companies more than doubled to $5.2 billion in March 2014, compared to same month last year, when it totaled $2.2 billion. Indian companies concentrated their foreign investment in equities ($2.9 billion) and guarantees ($1.9 billion).

P&G to Invest $41 Million in Indian arm


Procter & Gamble, the world's largest consumer goods maker, plans to invest about $41 million in its Indian arm, P&G Home Products, this year. This investment is part of the U.S. company's overall commitment to take on fast-moving Indian consumer-goods competitor Hindustan Unilever Ltd in terms of product portfolio and reach.


Elections 2014: Celebrating the Carnival of Indian Democracy
India's ongoing parliamentary elections are a carnival in every sense of the word - in sheer drama, spectacle, color and exuberant noise. They take democracy to an unparalleled level. Some 815 million Indians are eligible to vote in the Lok Sabha elections underway until May 12. The size of the electorate far exceeds the total population of the 28-nation European Union and the U.S. 

Facebook Crosses 100 Million Users in India      


Facebook has crossed 100 million active users in India - the second country to do so, following the U.S. The ascent of Facebook in India has been rapid, powered by mobile devices. Facebook said 84 million of its 100 million Indian users access the social networking site from their mobile devices. Facebook had only 8 million Indian users when it set up its first in-country office in 2010, in Hyderabad.  

Featured Video  
Meet India's First Voter - He's 97 and Still Voting
India's First Ever Voter Appointed Brand Ambassador Of Northern State Election Commission
Click on the Video to Play
Shyam Saran Negi, 97, was India's first voter when the country held its first elections 1951. Today, he's voting in the ongoing Indian parliamentary elections. In recognition, the State Election Commission in Negi's Kinnaur district of northern Himachal Pradesh appointed him as its brand ambassador for the election.

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