India - Partner In Growth
Welcome to the March 31, 2017  bulletin of key policy decisions and high-impact news, presented by the Embassy of India, Washington DC.
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Tax Reform: Crucial GST Bills Approved
The Lok Sabha, India's lower house of Parliament, has passed four GST (Goods and Services Tax) bills, putting the Government on course for the July 1 launch of India's biggest tax reform since Independence. The reforms, which aim to unify most federal and state taxes, are expected to boost economic growth by about 0.5 percent of GDP. The Government also hopes the new taxes will broaden its revenue base and cut compliance costs. 

Digital India: Wi-Fi Service Coming to 500 Remote Railway Stations
Aiming to provide connectivity in remote areas, India's Railways will set up wi-fi hotspot kiosks at about 500 remote stations and help people access an array of online services, including government schemes and programs. Called Railwire Saathi, the kiosks will enable people to get services such as e-commerce and online banking, and will offer access to open school/university and insurance plans, among other services.

State Bank of India Merges in 5 Subsidiary Banks
All branches of State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Travancore will function as branches of State Bank of India starting April 1. All the regional banks' customers, including depositors of these banks, will be treated as customers of the State Bank of India from April 1 onwards. 

Govt. OKs Nine FDI Proposals Worth $100 Million; Recommends Billions-Worth More
The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has approved nine foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals worth $100 million. The FIPB also recommended approval of three proposals from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs that include a $1.3 billion proposal by Twin Star Technologies Ltd.

Investment and Facilitation Desk for Food Processing Industries 
The Ministry of Food Processing Industries has set up an Investment and Facilitation Desk in the Ministry to facilitate match making between Indian partners and foreign companies. To promote India as Global Food Market and Global Food Factory, the Ministry is also organizing World Food India 2017 in November in New Delhi. The Ministry is also collaborating with International Fairs like SIAL and GULF FOOD to attract investors. 

Indian NatSec Advisor Doval Meets U.S. SecDef Mattis at Pentagon
Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis at the Pentagon to discuss the importance of the U.S. - India relationship and the role of both nations in cooperating to uphold international laws and principles. Defense Secretary Mattis specifically applauded India's efforts to promote stability in the South Asia region.
Tata Consulting, Discovery Education to Prep 1 Million U.S. Students for 21st Century
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is launching a first-of-its-kind effort, in partnership with Discovery Education (part of Discovery Communications), to transform education in America and prepare at least 1 million students for jobs of the future. The "Ignite My Future in School" initiative will be rolled out in schools in New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, Santa Clara, California, Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, Charlotte, N.C.; Cincinnati and Seattle. It will also be available across the U.S. through a digital platform. 
Minister: Amazon Proposes $500 Million Investment in Food E-retail