Welcome to the April 30th, 2015 bulletin of key policy decisions and high-impact news from India, presented by the Embassy of India, in Washington D.C.
KEY POLICY DECISIONS
Ease of Doing Business in SEZs improved
Seeking to improve ease of doing business in special economic zones (SEZs), the Commerce Ministry has permitted units in these zones to send goods for purposes such as repair and maintenance to outside markets and abroad.
Highways, Railways Will Raise $4.7 Billion with Tax-Free Bonds
The Finance Ministry has mandated the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Indian Railways Finance Corporation to raise $3.8 billion and $900 million, respectively, by selling tax-free bonds. The higher share of tax-free bonds will help NHAI to fund road projects in the country. Road Minister Nitin Gadkari plans to award 15,000 km of roads by March 2016 spread over two fiscal years.
All MAT Tax Claims Under DTAA to be Settled Within One Month
The Central Board of Direct Taxes will settle all minimum alternate tax (MAT) matters of foreign institutional investors that fall under Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAA) within one month of filing claims.
Govt. Raises Foreign Investment Cap in Pension Sector to 49%
The Government has raised the limit of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the pension sector to 49 percent in line with the FDI cap in the insurance sector, with approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board.
Govt. Mulls Fund to Provide Capital for New Tech Development
The Government is considering the creation of a special fund to provide risk capital to companies developing new technologies in electronics, nano-electronics and information technology. Telecom and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said proposals for electronics manufacturing have been received from global and domestic companies involving investment of nearly $3.3 billion.
Modi: India can meet the skilled manpower needs of the world
Inaugurating the first Global Exhibition on Services in New Delhi, Prime Minister Modi said India had vast potential to meet the skilled manpower needs of the entire world, and called for a careful mapping of global needs, which India could fulfill over the next decade.
Minister: 'Huge Opportunities' for Joint Ventures in Defense Manufacturing
Calling on the aerospace and defense industry to join the "Make In India" campaign, Minister Rao Inderjit Singh said the time is right for catapulting India into the league of technologically advanced nations, while speaking at an aerospace defense symposium. "There are huge opportunities for collaboration and creation of joint ventures in the defense electronics sector in India," he said.
Foreign Investment Soars 63% to $3.3 Billion in February
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in India jumped about 63 percent to $3.3 billion in February 2015, up from $2 billion in February last year. Foreign fund inflows are up 39 percent during the April-February period of 2014-15, compared to the year before. Services, telecom and autos received the most foreign funds.
McDonald's to Open 100 'McCafe' Stores in India
McDonald's, which launched its store-in-store format McCafe in India 18 months ago, is planning to cash in on the growing popularity of coffee drinking in the country with plans to open 100 more cafes. McCafe is the third line of McDonald's business in India, after breakfast home delivery and kiosk service.
Daimler Ships 'Made In India' Trucks to S. America
Expanding its overseas market, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles has shipped "Made In India" trucks to Trinidad and Tobago in the South American market, making it the 12th international destination for Daimler India exports.
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