Foreign trademarks doubled in India in 2015-2016
Trademark applications filed by foreign companies and organizations in India doubled to 15,670 in 2015-2016 as per the annual report of the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, Trademarks and Geographical Indications. This reflects a renewed interest in the Indian market, which is further boosted by the positive regulatory and business-friendly position adopted by the current government.
The main sectors that witnessed the maximum amount of trademark applications include: cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, surveying and electrical apparatus, stationary, clothing, beverages, advertising and business management.
India’s port capacity crosses record 1 billion ton
The capacity of 12 major ports in India surpassed the one billion ton mark in 2016-2017, according to Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. Capacity worth 100.59 million ton was added in this last fiscal year alone, while the overall capacity reached 1.06 billion ton per annum (1,065 MTPA) in 2016-2017.
Commodity shipments that saw growth include iron ore traffic (rose by 163.67 percent), miscellaneous and general cargo (grew 18.53 percent), and petroleum, oil, and lubricants (POL) products (8.16 percent).
India’s port development is a major reforms focus for the present government, reflected in the comprehensive ‘Sagarmala’ port and logistics development project. Further, 116 new initiatives aim to be implemented by 2019; 70 of these proposed reforms are already in implementation as per the government.
The country’s 12 major ports are: Kandla, Mumbai, JNPT, Marmugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Ennore, V O Chidambaranar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip, and Kolkata (including Haldia). Altogether, these handle approximately 61 percent of India’s total cargo traffic.
Ease of doing business and state-wise rankings in India
The World Bank and India’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) conduct a coordinated assessment of the business reforms implemented in India’s states every year, along the lines of the World Bank’s Doing Business Report. This week, the DIPP and World Bank announced an expanded list of business process reforms on which states will be assessed this year for their ‘ease of doing business’. The list of 405 reforms have been grouped into 11 categories.
These cover labor regulation, contract enforcement, registering property, inspection enablers, single-window system, land availability and allotment, construction permit, environmental registration, obtaining utility permits for water and electricity, paying taxes, and access to information and transparency.
States will have until October 31 to implement these reforms. In keeping with the methodology of the World Bank’s Doing Business Report, the DIPP will use feedback from users (business-to-government) to evaluate the operational effectiveness of state reforms. Newly divided states Andhra Pradesh and Telangana topped the survey last year.
Meanwhile, the World Bank is positively considering expanding its scope of ‘Ease of Doing Business’ assessment in India, by surveying ten cities instead of just Delhi and Mumbai.
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An Introduction to Doing Business in India 2017 is designed to introduce the fundamentals of investing in India. As such, this comprehensive guide is ideal not only for businesses looking to enter the Indian market, but also for companies who already have a presence here and want to stay up-to-date with the most recent and relevant policy changes.
Working as an Expat in India
In this issue of India Briefing Magazine, we look at India’s living and working environment, HR and payroll laws, and the taxation norms as applicable to foreign nationals. India is the second most favored destination for expatriates that want to work in the emerging markets. Expatriates should take note of the basic social and welfare concerns as well as the regulatory and tax issues that apply to foreigners that work in the country.