Welcome to the January 15, 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

Modi to CEOs: India as a Global Manufacturing Hub


Prime Minister Modi concluded India's first-ever global CEO conclave by telling some 200 top chief executives that "In manufacturing, it must be zero effect [to nature] and zero defect." U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim also addressed the CEOs, who heard Modi's plans to make India a global manufacturing hub.

PwC: Indian Economy to Grow at 7% This Year


The Indian economy is projected to grow by 7 percent in 2015, says a PricewaterhouseCoopers report. "We think 2015 could be the year that India turns the corner, posting growth of around 7 percent. In the short term, low oil prices are likely to increase GDP growth, ease the pressures of India's high current account deficit and help bring down inflation," it said.

Kerry: U.S., India Invested in Each Other        

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said India and the United States have invested in their relationship and will continue to deepen it by creating a healthier, more secure and prosperous future to be able to impact policies that affect the world. "We are all invested in this relationship because we recognize what this moment offers to us but also what it demands of us and we continue to deepen our partnership, transform how we collaborate," he said at the 7th Vibrant Gujarat Summit.   

November Industrial Output Up 3.8% 

Industrial production grew at a five-month high of 3.8 percent in November due to improvement in the manufacturing and mining sectors as well as improved sale of capital goods. By comparison, factory output, as measured by the Index of Industrial Production, was down by 1.3 percent in the same month of 2013. 

Mercedes-Benz to Launch Record 15 Cars in India        

German luxury carmaker Mercedes- Benz plans to introduce a record 15 new cars in India this year, and invest $24 million to add a new assembly line for its upcoming CLA compact sedan at its Chakan facility


India's Zomato Buys U.S.'s Urbanspoon for $50 Million           

Zomato, an Indian online food and restaurant discovery guide, has purchased Urbanspoon, a similar site in the U.S., in a deal valued at about $50 million. "We have been planning our entry into the North American market for some time," said Deepinder Goyal, founder and chief executive of Zomato.


Key Policy Decisions

Medical Devices Sector Opens Up to 100% Foreign Investment


The Government has opened the medical devices sector to 100% foreign direct investment through the automatic route. About 70% of the country's medical devices' demand, which include sutures, implants and surgical instruments, is met through imports.

Govt. Clears Foreign Investment Proposals Worth $294 Million 

The Finance Ministry has cleared 12 foreign direct investment applications, including that of Ratnakar Bank to raise its foreign equity limit to 74 percent, for a total foreign investment of $294 million.

Govt. Aligns Foreign Investment Policy with Industrialization Code         


With a view to improve the ease of doing business, the Government has aligned the foreign direct investment policy with the upgraded National Industrial Classification Code. The code will classify business activities and help the industry in seeking policy approvals for specific activities.

Cabinet Committee OKs High-End Neutrino Project    


India will soon join the global high-end scientific Neutrino Club as the Government has given its nod to launch a project for experiments in high-energy physics. The Cabinet Committee on Security had cleared the project on December 26 last year, at an investment of Rs. 1,500 crores. It will be funded jointly by Department of Science and Technology and Atomic Energy, while the Infrastructure will be created with the help of Tamil Nadu government.   

Pradhan: Govt. to Auction 69 Marginal Oil Fields      


The Government plans to auction 69 small and marginal oil and gas fields to private firms on a new revenue sharing model, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said. As many as 63 discovered oil and gas are being surrendered by the Oil and Natural Gas Corp. These fields can be developed faster by smaller firms with lower operating costs.

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