India - Partner In Growth
Welcome to the June 2, 2016 bulletin of key policy decisions and high-impact news from India, presented by the Embassy of India, in Washington D.C.
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Reforms in Major Ports Promote Ease of Doing Business 
Over the past year, the Government has approved several initiatives to promote trade and improve India's ease-of-doing-business ranking, including the installation of container scanners at major ports, installing RFID technology for gate automation and reducing fees for non-peak hours.   

Govt. OKs $1.6 Billion in Railway Investments

The Cabinet has approved an investment of $1.6 billion in five railway projects through the doubling and tripling of lines in states including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. The projects should be completed in three to five years.

Portal Launched to Promote Net Zero Energy Buildings 
The Ministry of Power and the U.S. Agency for International Development have launched India's first integrated web portal designed to promote Net Zero Energy Buildings in India. A first of its kind, the portal provides complete information about Net Zero Energy Buildings - those that generate as much energy as they use - as well as how to achieve near-zero energy status.

Govt. Announces Thirteen More Smart Cities  

The Government has announced 13 more smart cities from as many states. With the selection of these 13 cities, 25 states and union territories are now covered under the Smart City Mission. Smart cities aim to improve urban planning and governance and will be the major drivers of urban revival and transformation. 
Now Ministers Can OK Non-Plan Proposals of Up to $75 Million
To increase speed and efficiency, Ministers can now approve non-plan expenditure proposals of up to $75 million, up from the previous limit of $23 million, the Finance Ministry said. Proposals of up to $11 million can be approved by the secretary of the administrative ministry or department. 

Report: India's Net FDI Flows To Hit $38 Billion in 2016-17 

India's net foreign direct investment (FDI) flows are expected to rise further this fiscal year to $38 billion on the emergence of some new initiatives such as regulatory easing in select sectors and reform measures initiated by the Government, says a report. 

Indian Consumers Most Confident in World in Q1 of 2016: Nielsen 
Indian consumers were the most confident in the world in terms of job prospects, personal finances and concerns in the first quarter of 2016 with their confidence index touching a nine-year high during the period, according to a study by Nielsen. The Consumer Confidence Index score for India increased three index points in the first quarter to a score of 134, the highest for the country since 2007, Nielsen said.  

India: An Agricultural Powerhouse 
India is the world's second-largest producer of agricultural products, ahead of the U.S. and next only to China.  The drivers of India's growth are high-value segments such as dairy, horticulture and inland fisheries, which account for 60 percent of India's agricultural GDP.

India's Start-up World is Blooming in Second-Tier Cities 
Increasing smartphone penetration in second-tier Indian cities is opening doors for entrepreneurs in cities such as Jaipur and Lucknow to set up e-commerce businesses and internet services. 

India's Organic Food Market to Treble in 4 Years 
The market for organic food in India is likely to treble in the next four years, according to a report from business chamber Assocham and TechSci Research, a non-Government body. The report estimates the current market at $500 million, up from $360 million in 2014.