India Regulatory Brief: Government Plans to Streamline Exports, New Laws for Faster Patent Approvals

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Government Targets Formation of Committee to Streamline Exports

On March 7, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced government plans to form a committee for the purpose of simplifying India’s export procedures. 

Speaking at the Dun & Bradstreet awards, Sitharaman said that the committee would also help boost India’s outward shipments. “We are planning to form a committee which will meet every six months to tackle the issues relating to exporters”, she said. “Apart from others, this committee will have members from the exporting community too and will ensure how problems being faced by exporters can be addressed effectively”.

The committee will form part of the government’s broader “Make in India” campaign, which aims to increase business confidence in India and transform the country into a manufacturing hub.  Sitharaman emphasized that, if Make in India is to be successful, India’s export volumes will have to increase.

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India Plans Faster Approvals for Patent Applicants

On February 27, an eight-member panel consisting of various government departments filed a high court report in which they called for faster patent approvals in India.

Currently, it is common for companies to experience delays of up to seven years when going through India’s patent office. The new law would mean shorter waiting times for businesses with smart innovations, with the panel targeting a 14 to 18 month turnaround.

If approved and implemented, the new law would undoubtedly lead to a rise in production for manufacturers in India, and would therefore serve as another boost to the “Make in India” campaign.

European Union is looking to Resume Talks with India on FTA

Top European Union (EU) officials have said they are reaching out to Indian Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to resume FTA negotiations as soon as possible. The talks started in June 2007 but have been dormant since May 2013.

Roberto Cecutti, Policy Officer for India at the European Commission’s Directorate General of Trade, has said that the EU is ready to review all outstanding issues. India is seeking fewer restrictions on movement of its nationals working in Europe, and further wants to be granted “data secure nation” status by the EU because it will give Indian IT companies greater market access. In return, the EU is looking for tariff cuts on cars, wines and spirits exported from India to Europe, as well as greater access for its agricultural products and a stronger intellectual property regime.                

Related Link Icon-IBRELATED: India’s FY 2015-16 Budget 
Reserve Bank of India may have More Control over Money Market than Previously

The Indian Finance Ministry may allow the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to continue to be primarily responsible for regulation of the money market. Previously, the Union Budget had proposed to take power away from the RBI and move it to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). However, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is reported to have communicated to the RBI that the position in the budget would be relaxed after the RBI expressed disapproval. A post-Budget meeting between Finance Minister Jaitley and the RBI governor Raghuram Rajan is set for March 22.


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