Welcome to the January 22, 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

World Bank: India Will Be Fastest-Growing Big Economy in 2017 


India is set to become the fastest-growing big economy in the world, clocking a 7% rise in GDP in 2017, the World Bank said. "In India, export growth has been robust, and investor confidence has been bolstered by election of a reform-minded government," the World Bank said.

'Make in India To Use Technology For Industrial Growth'             

Addressing a meeting of American corporate leadership in Washington DC organized by the Indian Embassy and the Confederation of Indian Industry, Ambassador Jaishankar highlighted the "strength of purpose and seriousness of intent" of the new government in India. Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, urged US industry to enter India, make for the domestic market and also export.  Arun Kumar, US Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets spoke of the various initiatives undertaken by the US Department of Commerce to collaborate with the India with regard to the 'Make in India' initiative. 


India-U.S. ICT Working Group Meets in Washington DC          

The India-U.S.Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Working Group held extensive discussions on IC and telecommunication policy issues, focusing on accelerating broadband deployment, aligning spectrum policy for the mobile era and exchanging views on internet governance and best practices in IC and telecommunications regulatory policy.
Indian Minister for ICT Meets U.S. Under Secretary of State
Minister for Communications and Information Technology Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad met the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy & the Environment Ms. Catherine Novelli in New Delhi. The Minister said if the U.S. companies manufacture in India, they not only sell their products in India but also export it to the rest of the world and avail incentives. Both sides would like to see India play a greater global role in development of the Internet.

Krugman: India May be the Country of the Future           

India is definitely a country of the future, if not the definitive country of the future, said Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman, speaking at the Economic Times Global Business Summit - 2015. Krugman said that India has shown greater resilience than China when it comes to weathering international economic turbulence.


Minister Prasad to U.S. Firms: India Is a 'Happening Place'


Describing India as a "happening place" and a land of aspirations, Communications and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has appealed to U.S. businesses to invest in the country in a big way -- especially in ambitious programs, such as Make in India. "Use of technology is an important tool to fulfil this idea of aspiration," Prasad said. 

Key Policy Decisions

Modi's Team Outlines Path to $20 Trillion Economy


Senior Ministers have provided details of the Government's plan to elevate India from a $2 trillion economy to a $20 trillion one. Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu and information Technology and Information Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said they want to overhaul their respective ministries and undertake a generational leap rather than carrying out incremental changes. 

Reserve Bank Cuts Repo Rates by 25 Basis Points   

The Reserve Bank of India decided to cut the benchmark interest rate by 0.25 per cent to 7.75 per cent with a view to boost growth. "It has been decided to reduce the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 25 basis points from 8.0 per cent to 7.75 per cent with immediate effect" the Bank said in a statement. 


Govt. Allows Direct Sale of Bio-Diesel by Manufacturers         

In a bid to augment the supply of environmentally friendly fuel, the Government has allowed private manufacturers of bio-diesel to sell the fuel directly to consumers, such as Indian Railways. Prior to this, only state-owned oil firms and only those private firms investing $323 million in oil infrastructure were allowed to retail petrol and diesel.


USAID, Gates Foundation Help Swachh Bharat Mission           

In separate actions, the United States Agency for International Development and the Gates Foundation signed memorandums of understanding to assist the Government's Swachh Bharat Mission, a national campaign to clean streets, road and infrastructure across more than 4,000 of the nation's towns. 

Reserve Bank OKs Banks to Offer Insurance Services             

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said banks will be allowed to offer insurance broking services by setting up a subsidiary or through a joint venture if they meet certain conditions, in a move to increase insurance penetration in the country. The conditions include the banks' net worth should not be less than 5 billion rupees ($80.57 million) and its net non-performing loans should not be more than 3 percent, the central bank said in a statement.

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