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India Forges Closer Regional Ties Amidst Growing Influence of China

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DELHI – On Sunday, during the first bilateral visit of an Indian Prime Minister to Nepal in 17 years, Navendra Modi also became the first foreign head of government to address the Himalayan nation’s parliament since 1990. In his 50-minute speech, the Indian Premier urged Nepal’s lawmakers to finish the country’s long delayed Constitution, and offered the impoverished nation a US$1 billion line of credit.

Since the signing of the 1950 Indo-Nepal Peace and Friendship treaty, both countries have shared an open border alongside special trade and security relations. Over time, however, leftist groups in Nepal grew uncomfortable with India’s involvement in the economy, culminating in a 10 year long Maoist insurgency that only ended in 2006.

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India Promotes Port Development as Cargo Traffic Increases

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Source: www.porttechnology.orgDELHI – India’s 12 major ports are expected to double their annual cargo handling capacity to 1,600 million tonnes (MT) within the next five years, according to Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari. Initial projects to increase capacity by 350 MT will commence during this financial year.

India’s 12 major ports – Chennai, Cochin, Ennore, JNPT, Kandla, Kolkata (including Haldia), Marmugao, Mumbai, New Mangalore, Paradip, V O Chidamnarmar and Visakhapatnam – handled a combined cargo of 555.50 MT during the 2013-14 fiscal year, a slight increase of 1.78 percent from the 545.79 MT handled in 2012-13. This figure represents approximately two-thirds of the country’s total cargo traffic.

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Tax, Accounting, and Audit in India 2014-2015

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Tax, Accounting, and Audit in India 2014-2015, which is out now and available for download in the Asia Briefing Bookstore, offers a comprehensive overview of the major taxes foreign investors are likely to encounter when establishing or operating a business in India as well as other tax-relevant obligations. This concise, detailed, yet pragmatic guide is ideal for CFOs, compliance officers and heads of accounting who need to be able to navigate the complex tax and accounting landscape in India in order to effectively manage and strategically plan their India-based operations.

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India Strengthening Economic Ties with Israel

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DELHI –  After heated debate over the situation in Gaza led to a walkout in the Rajya Sabha earlier this month, the Modi government’s decision to remain neutral in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas is being interpreted by some analysts as a clear signal of strengthening Israeli-Indian economic ties.

While previous Indian governments have tended to side with the Palestinians in their political and military disputes with Israel, India’s relationship with Israel has strengthened considerably since the two countries established full diplomatic relations in 1992.

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India Mulls Scrapping 30 Percent Domestic Sourcing Requirement

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DELHI – India’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) is reportedly considering scrapping the 30 percent domestic sourcing requirement in single-brand retail.

According to India’s Ministry of External Affairs, the move could yield higher foreign investment (FDI) inflows by allowing high-end and high-tech brands to enter the Indian market without being required to source goods locally.

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India to Delay Decision on GAAR Implementation

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DELHI – India’s implementation of the General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) will be delayed until next year, according to Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das.

Speaking at a session organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) last week, Das said the new government needed more time to consider the measure after the 2014 Budget failed to address the GAAR or its implementation.

“The new government will study the whole matter and take a view on it in the next budget only,” Das said, effectively implying that the Modi government was postponing any decision on GAAR implementation to 2015.

“The issue of GAAR was not on the table for this budget. It was not an issue on which the government had to make an announcement – we are still about eight months away from that,” Das continued.

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The BRICS New Development Bank: India’s Power Play?

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DELHI – Even before PM Modi arrived in Brazil for the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Summit on Monday, the highly anticipated launch of the BRICS “New Development Bank” was making headlines across the developing world.

Intended to facilitate greater financial cooperation between emerging markets, the BRICS bank will seek to check the influence of the IMF, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank by offering lower cost loans with fewer conditions to developing countries as soon as 2016.

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New Foreign Investment Proposal Checklist Released in India

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DELHI – India’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has released a new document checklist for submitting proposals to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).

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