India-US to strengthen its alliance in oil & gas, power, renewable energy

download (8)Source: Business Standard, Apr 18, 2018

New Delhi: India and the United States on Tuesday decided to increase its co-operation in oil and gas, power, renewable energy and coal sectors during the first meeting of the US-India Strategic Energy Partnership.

US president Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the partnership on June 26, 2017, in Washington, D.C. Through the partnership, the United States and India collectively seek to enhance energy security, expand energy and innovation linkages across respective energy sectors, bolster strategic alignment, and facilitate increased industry and stakeholder engagement in the energy sector, the government said in a statement.

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With different ceiling rates, 7,670 MW solar projects on offer across India

Source: Business Standard, Apr 18, 2018

New Delhi: A batch of solar power projects with a total capacity of 7,670 megawatts (MW) is set to be put out to tender in the next two months where the benchmark tariff will vary according to location. Also, there will be no viability gap funding for bidders, like earlier auctions, to quote lower than the market rate.

For a 3,000 MW project cluster (250MWx12), the maximum tariff payable is set at Rs 2.93 a unit for 25 years. Bidders will have to quote below the benchmark rate. Location of the projects and sale of power will be managed by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), the nodal agency for tendering solar projects.

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IMF maintains India’s FY19 growth at 7.4%; cautions govt on fiscal deficit

Source: Business Standard, Apr 18, 2018

New Delhi: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has maintained its forecast for India’s economic growth at 7.4% in 2018-19, which will again make the country the fastest-growing large economy after losing this tag to China by a close margin in 2017-18. For 2019-20, the IMF has projected India to grow at 7.8%. By comparison, the Chinese economy is expected to slow down to 6.4% in 2019, down from 6.6% in 2018.

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India is likely to have grown 6.7% in 2017-18, the IMF said. In fact, the IMF projection for 2017-18 is a tad higher than 6.6%, pegged by the second Advance Estimates by the Central Statistics Office. China grew 6.9% in 2017.

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Swedish companies committing a fresh 1.1 billion dollars investment in India

download (4)Source: The Economic Times, Apr 17, 2018

Companies in Sweden, the largest Nordic economy in Europe is committing a fresh 1.1 billion dollars investment in India led by some of its major companies Volvo, IKEA, AstraZaneca amongst others.

Having committed $1.5 billion in the past three years, the additional investment that is lined up will be for the next two years. Sweden is investing in India more than it did in the “last few decades” said Carsten Gronblad, the Trade commissioner to India.

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Simplified GST returns form in the works

Source: The Economic Times, Apr 17, 2018

NEW DELHI: A new simplified form is in the works for filing goods and services tax (GST) returns and could be taken up for consideration at the next meeting of the GST Council.

“A new form incorporating best features of a ‘fusion’ of two models that have been under discussions will be prepared. This will also take into account all suggestions that have come from the stakeholders,” said Sushil Modi, Bihar deputy chief minister and chairman of the group of ministers tasked by the GST Council to look at the IT issues.

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Sweden, India agree to strengthen cooperation on defence

Source: The Economic Times, Apr 18, 2018

India and Sweden will soon sign an agreement on sharing of classified information required for defence manufacturing and co-production in India, as the two sides look forward to open a new chapter in their defence partnership.

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A bilateral pact on classified information sharing is on the cards, Swedish defence minister Carl Anders Peter Hultqvist told ET in an exclusive interaction ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meetings with Swedish leaders and defence majors.

Swedish defence major SAAB has shown interest in manufacturing Gripen aircraft in India under the ‘Make in India’ initiative. “We want to develop defence partnership with India like we have done with Brazil through technology transfer and license.

SAAB fighter jets are among the best in the world and offered at competitive rates,” said Hultqvist.

Data storage norm splits digital payments industry

download (2).jpgSource: The Economic Times, Apr 18, 2018

NEW DELHI | BENGALURU: India’s nascent digital payment industry could be thrown into disarray due to the demand by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that all user data be stored within the country, fears an industry grouping, which has termed the decision as “heavy-handed”, even as others, including the country’s largest digital payment provider Paytm, have hailed the move.

In a bid to narrow the growing schism, the industry is planning to send a formal representation to the regulator highlighting its concerns, a top official told ET.

“We are trying to build a consensus on the issue,” said the person adding that the representation to the central bank will be ready this week.

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