India - Partner In Growth
Welcome to the March 10, 2017  bulletin of key policy decisions and high-impact news, presented by the Embassy of India, Washington DC.
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GST Council Approves the Draft GST Bill

The Government's Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has approved the draft Central GST Bill and the draft Inter-State GST Bill. The bills now be placed before the Parliament. The GST is a historic tax reform in India. 

Govt. Approves MoU for Women's Empowerment

The Government has approved the signing of a memorandum of understanding between India and the United Nations Entity of Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The proposal seeks to provide technical support in strengthening capacities to improve gender equality through legislation, policies and programs. 

Govt. Eases Rules to File Trade Mark Applications

The Trade Mark Rules, 2017 came into effect earlier this month and will streamline and simplify the processing of trade mark applications. For instance, the number of trade mark forms have been reduced from 74 to eight and steps have been taken to encourage e-filing.

Govt. Takes Further Steps Toward Bankruptcy Reform

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has recognized two Insolvency Professional Entities (IPEs), which have a critical role in transactions under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. The Code and its regulations provide for strengthening capacity on a continuous basis, as India works to overhaul and modernize its bankruptcy process to aide ease-of-doing business.

Web Portal Launched for Environmental Clearances in Coastal Zones
The Ministry of Environment has launched a web portal for obtaining Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearances, another example of India's efforts at improving ease of doing business. The Portal is a user-friendly initiative, which enables submission of applications for CRZ clearances in a single-window interface and facilitates quick flow of information related to CRZ clearances.

Indian Petroleum Minister Meets U.S. Energy Secretary
Indian Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan met U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry in Washington D.C. to discuss growing cooperation between the two countries in the energy sector. They also discussed the export of liquefied natural gas to India starting in early 2018. 
Foreign Secretary Meets Top U.S. Officials 
Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar met several top officials from the U.S. during his four-day visit here and held discussions on a wide range of issues concerning India-U.S. relations. He was accompanied by the Indian Commerce Secretary. The two officials met three members of the Trump Cabinet: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. He also met National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, deputy assistant to the president on international economic affairs Kenneth Juster and other officials.
World Bank CEO Lauds PM Modi's Demonetization Move
World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva has lauded PM Narendra Modi's demonetization move. "What India has done will be studied by other countries," she said, adding, "there hasn't been demonetization in a country so big." Georgieva was in India for two days for her first official visit.

IT Minister Prasad: India Open for Widest Cyber Security Collaboration 
The Government is open for international collaboration in cyber security and favors the handling issue of cyber terrorism in cooperation with other countries, said the IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, at the international conference on e-governance, ICEGOV, in Delhi. The ongoing conference is the tenth in the series being organized in collaboration with the UN University and UNESCO, to explore how digital government can lead to digital empowerment by local knowledge. 

OECD Survey: Indian Economy Expanding at Fast Pace
According to a new report from the OECD, the Indian economy is expanding at a fast pace, boosting living standards and reducing poverty nationwide. The latest OECD Economic Survey of India 2017 finds that the acceleration of structural reforms and the move toward a rule-based macroeconomic policy framework will sustain the country's rapid economic expansion.