Welcome to the March 26, 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

Foreign Investment Doubles to $4.5 Billion in Jan., Highest in 29 Months            


Foreign direct investment (FDI) in India more than doubled to $4.5 billion in January, the highest inflow in the past 29 months. Top sectors receiving FDI include telecom, services, automobiles, computer software and hardware and pharmaceuticals.       


  

India Passes U.S. as No. 3 Global Steelmaker

India has overtaken the U.S. to become the third-largest steel producer in the world with a production of 14.6 million metric tons in first two months of the year. India had been the fourth-largest steel producer for the past five years, behind China, Japan and the U.S.        


  

Dell is Top Computer Seller in India

                  

Global computer giant Dell ranked top in shipments and sale of PCs, notebooks and workstations in the fourth quarter of 2014. Dell's India subsidiary posted 54 percent year-on-year growth in unit shipments and nearly 7 percent year-on-year share across segments in the last quarter of 2014.

Wipro Invests $5 Million in U.S. Start-Up

                     

Wipro has invested $5 million in Drivestream, a U.S. start-up that integrates Oracle technology solutions. "This investment into Drivestream reflects Wipro's continued commitment to help our customers adopt Oracle cloud applications," a Wipro official said.

India's Newspaper Boom

                     

The Indian newspaper industry is booming. Media analysts say the regional language newspapers are expected to clock double-digit improvement in the coming decade as millions of new readers choose newspapers as their primary source of information. 

Key Policy Decisions

Mines & Minerals Bill Passed By Parliament


The Parliament has passed The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015, becoming the second major reform measure to receive the approval of the legislature in the first half of the Budget Session. The Bill make the auction of iron ore, aluminium, bauxite and manganese by state governments smooth and transparent. The Insurance Law (Amendment) Bill, seeking to hike FDI in insurance sector was the first reform measure passed by Parliament.


Govt. Seeks to Help Firms Determine Tax Liability                

 

Companies will now be able to not only ascertain their tax liability in advance but also use that principle for the past four years. India has notified rules for rolling back advance pricing agreements that seek to provide predictability and stability to taxpayers. 

Market Regulator Relaxes Rules for Bank Debt Conversion
  
To help banks struggling with bad loans, markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) relaxed rules for conversion of bank debt into equity in companies that are in distress and unable to repay funds. "Banks are facing a serious problem of non-performing loans. There is urgent need for conversion of debt into equity, but the existing SEBI regulations with regard to pricing come in their way," SEBI Chairman U.K. Sinha said.
India, U.S. Move Forward on Nuclear Deal
 
India and the U.S. are in the process of exchanging the inked copies of documents for the nuclear deal, paving the way for the implementation of the pact that was signed seven years ago. "...After the necessary internal procedures, the signed texts are currently being exchanged between India's Department of Atomic Energy and the U.S. Department of Energy," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson S yed Akbaruddin said.
 
Finance Ministry OKs Divestment in 4 State-Owned Firms
  
The Finance Ministry said the Government has approved a stake sale in four state-run firms that could bring up to $3.6 billion. "The Government has cleared a 5 percent stake sale in ONGCBSE and Bhel, and a 10 percent stake sale in Nalco and NMDC,"said Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha.
Govt. Approves 17 Mega Food Parks for States, Private Firms
  
The Government has approved the development of 17 mega food parks across the country to state governments and private firms, including Adani Ports & SEZ, estimating an investment of nearly $1 billion. A mega food park provides various facilities to food processors, farmers, retailers and exporters, helping achieve faster growth of food processing industries.

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