India - Partner In Growth
Welcome to the November 26, 2015 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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Govt. De-Clutters Merchant Shipping Sector
In line with the Government's emphasis on simplifying procedures to promote ease of doing business, the Shipping Ministry has decided to weed out 13 archaic rules. This will de-clutter the legislative framework governing the merchant shipping sector in India and streamline the processes and procedures. 
Govt. Eases Norms for Bilateral Aid To Promote 'Make in India'
The Government has eased rules for bilateral Official Development Assistance to accept special loan for capital intensive projects, a move that will promote the "Make in India" campaign by obtaining new technology and boosting infrastructure.  "It is expected that by accepting offers of special loan for projects in infrastructure sector and in sectors of strategic importance on mutually agreed basis, the extensive capital requirement in these sectors will be fulfilled," an official statement said. 


Market Regulator SEBI Cuts IPO Listing Timeline to 6 Days
Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has reduced the listing timeline to six days from present 12 days, shortening the wait for investors in initial public offers as part of several measures aimed at streamlining the system and reducing costs. 

Govt. OKs 6 Foreign Investment Proposals Worth $273 Million
The Foreign Investment Promotion Board has cleared six foreign direct investment proposals worth $273 million, including that of IIFL Holdings. The board has approved the proposal of IIFL Holdings, a non-banking finance company, to increase foreign equity from 50.16 percent to 80 percent by issuing shares to foreign institutional investors. 

Fitch: Foreign Investment, Other Policies Spur Indian Reforms
Global credit rating agency Fitch has described the Government's move to ease foreign investment rules for 15 sectors, including defense, broadcasting, construction and retail trade, as a "significant structural macroeconomic reform." This, combined with other positive steps, indicates that India's reform momentum remains intact, Fitch Ratings said in its latest report. 

SunEdison To Supply Solar Power At Record Low Tariff To India
U.S.-based SunEdison has won a bid to sell solar power in India at a record low tariff, which could boost the appeal of the renewable source at a time when Prime Minister Modi is pushing for clean energy to combat climate change. SunEdison won the auction for a 500-megawatt project in Andhra Pradesh.

Report: India Can Advance U.S. Interests 
Raising the priority of economic ties with India to the very top of the U.S.-India bilateral agenda should be the focus of the two nations' relationship, a U.S. think tank says. "A rising India offers one of the most substantial opportunities to advance American national interests over the next two decades," asserts a new report sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations.

E-commerce Investment in India Booms
Most projections suggest India's online population will race above 500 million in the next couple of years, mostly through smartphones. The prospect of such rapid growth has prompted a boom in e-commerce investment over the past year. Online retailers including Flipkart and Snapdeal have pulled in hundreds of millions of dollars in venture funding, and begun spending heavily to win customers. 

Megacity Security Conference Held in Mumbai
A two-day Megacity Security Conference, hosted by the Atlantic Council's South Asia Center in partnership with the US Consulate General was held on 23rd and 24th November in Mumbai, where policymakers, law enforcement officials, security experts and leading thinkers shared first-hand experience dealing with security policy in some of the world's largest megacities, including Mumbai, New York, Istanbul, Chicago, Manila, Dhaka, Nairobi and Mexico City. 

Report: Indian Agro-Chemicals Sector to Reach $7.5 Billion by 2019
The agro-chemicals sector in India is estimated to reach $7.5 billion by 2018-19 with 60 percent of the contribution coming from exports, says a Tata Strategic Management Group report. "The Indian crop protection industry is estimated to be $4.25 billion in FY14 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12 percent to reach $7.5 billion by FY19," it said.