Welcome to the March 5, 2015 bulletin of key policy decisions and high-impact news from India, presented by the Embassy of India, in Washington D.C.
High-Impact News

Indo-U.S. Merchandise, Services Trade May Reach $525 Billion by 2025     


Indo-U.S. bilateral trade in merchandise and services is likely to reach $525 billion by 2025, according to a report by the Washington State Department of Commerce and PHD Chamber. The report said that by 2025, merchandise trade could account for $325 billion and the service sector could add $200 billion.   


U.S. to Supply Missile Warning System to India                 

The U.S. will supply a missile warning system to India to help military aircraft in deploying counter-measures against enemy missiles. The two countries are also exploring the possibility of collaborating on India's planned aircraft carrier. "I envision a day when American and Indian engineers sit side-by-side - or at least virtually - producing cutting-edge designs to be produced in partnership," said U.S. Defense Dept. official Frank Kendall.


Defense Minister: India Placed $13.6 Billion in Orders for Military Hardware


Indian military forces placed orders worth $13.6 billion from 2011 while domestic defense industries sold $11 million worth of hardware in the same period. Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar said that foreign direct investment amounting to $3.9 billion has been received after the Government opened investment into the defense sector.       
Six Indians Among Forbes' 50 'Power Businesswomen'
Six Indian women CEOs and Managing Directors, including State Bank of India head Arundhati Bhattacharya and ICICI CEO Chanda Kochchar, have been named by Forbes magazine in its 50 "Power Businesswomen" from Asia who are "knocking down" walls in the traditional male bastions.

Report: Private Equity Investment in Realty up 2X to $2.5 bn


Private equity investment in the realty sector jumped over two-fold to $2.5 billion last year, the highest since 2008, signaling a renewed interest by domestic and global investors in Indian real estate, according to property consultant Cushman & Wakefield  


S&P: India is 'Bright Spot', Ups GDP forecast to 7.9%
Terming India as the "bright spot" in Asia Pacific, Standard & Poor's sharply revised upward the country's GDP forecast to 7.9 percent in the next fiscal year and 8.2 percent in the year after. "India should be the Asia-Pacific region's bright spot," S&P said.
Key Policy Decisions

Top 5 Takeaways for Markets from FM Jaitley's Budget   


The Government will allow foreign investment in Alternative Investment Funds, a category of pooled-in investment vehicles for real estate, private equity and hedge funds, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his speech announcing the 2015-16 budget. Here are five key takeaways from the speech.

India to Invest $137 Billion in Railways in Next 5 Years       

The Government unveiled plans to invest $137 billion in its rail network over the next five years, heralding Prime Minister Modi's aggressive approach to building infrastructure needed to unlock faster economic growth


Govt.: India Growth to Top 8% Next Year

India's economy will grow by more than 8 percent in the next financial year, the Government said in a report. The India Economic Survey said growth would be between 8.1 and 8.5 percent in the 2015-16 financial year, returning to 2010-11 levels. The survey also forecast India's consumer inflation would moderate between 5 and 5.5 percent in 2015-16, raising hopes for monetary policy easing.


15,000 MW of Grid-Connected Solar PV Power Plants Set for Launch

The Government approved implementation of 15,000 MW of grid-connected Solar PV Power projects under the National Solar Mission. The projects will roll out in tranches of 3,000 MW, 5,000 MW and 7,000 MW. 

Minister: $160 bn Investment in Highways, Shipping by 2019       


Unveiling plans for a $160 billion investment in the highways and shipping sectors by 2019, Minister Nitin Gadkari said the face of India's basic infrastructure will be changed in five years.

Govt. to Allow Foreign Investment in Alternative Funds                   

To promote domestic investments and manufacturing in line with the Make In India program, the Government has proposed to allow foreign direct investments in Alternative Investment Funds. "This will step up the ability of these funds to mobilize higher resources and make higher investments in small and medium enterprises, infrastructure and social projects and provide the much required private equity to new ventures and start-ups," FM Arun Jaitley said. 

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