INDIA NEWSLETTER Indian Embassy, Vienna
Published by the Embassy of India, Vienna Year 7 • Issue 74 • February 2017
MAKE IN INDIA ■■WOMEN EMPOWERED
India Newsletter • 1
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Digital Infrastructure as a Core Utility to Every Citizen
Governance and Services on Demand
Digital Empowerment of Citizens
The Digital India programme is a flagship programme of the Government of India with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. Find out more under:
Accelarate Manufacturing Growth
Focus on Skill Development
Sustainable Energy Sufficiency
Improved Business Environment
The government of India has prepared a five-pillar strategy to drive Indiaâ€™s growth, which offers multiple avenues of collaboration and investments. Find out more under:
www.makeinindia.com 2 â€˘ India Newsletter
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POSITIVE NEWS FLASHES
Mr Sushil Chairman
Board of Direct Taxes) CBDT and Mr Georg Zehetner, Charge d’ Affaires, Embassy of Austria signed a protocol to amend the India-Austria Double Taxation Avoidance
order to curb tax evasion and tax avoidance between the two countries.
Rating agencies such as Moody’s Investors
commended the Union Budget 2017-18 as being consistent with the fiscal consolidation targets, while also aiming for growth through higher public investments while committing to a broad reform agenda.
India is expected to surpass Japan to
domestic aviation market after US and China, with domestic air traffic expected to reach over 100 million passengers in 2017, according to Mr Kapil Kaul, Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA).
The Government of India plans to scrap
foreign investment proposals requiring government approval to be cleared by the ministries concerned, and thereby improve the ease of doing business in the country.
Out of 18, 452 villages without electricity, approximately 65 per cent or 11, 931 villages have been electrified until January 30, 2017 under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), with the remaining villages targeted for electrification by May 2018, as per Mr Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines.
The Economic Survey 2017 has projected India’s real gross domestic product (GDP) to grow between 6.75 - 7.5 per cent in FY2017-18, signalling that growth could recover sooner than expected after cash supply is replenished, which is likely to be achieved by the end of March 2017.
The Indian Railways plans to set up a US$ 5 billion Railways of India Development Fund (RIDF), which will serve as an institutional mechanism for
the Railways to arrange funds from the market to finance various infrastructure projects.
The Government of India has reduced the
income-tax rate for smaller businesses
turnover up to Rs 50 crore (US$ 7.4 million) to 25 per cent, from 30 per cent previously, in order to make India’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME)
competitive as compared with large companies.
The Government of India has announced a
slew of labour-friendly reforms aimed at generating around 11.1 million jobs in apparel and made-ups sectors, and increasing textile exports to US$ 32.8 billion and investment of Rs 80,630 crores (US$ 11.96 billion) in the next three years.
India has become the second largest user of
domestic liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in the world with 19 million tonnes per year consumption, due to rapid rollout of ‘Ujjwala’ scheme for providing free LPG connections to
expanding customer base in urban regions. India Newsletter • 3
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ANNOUNCEMENT FOR AUSTRIAN CITIZENS e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) for Austrian citizens
he Government of India has extended e-Tourist Visa (eTV) scheme to the citizens of Austria w.e.f. 26th February 2016. Under e-Tourist Visa scheme, citizens of Austria may now apply online (https://indianvisaonline. gov.in/visa/tvoa.html) four days in advance to obtain the Electronic Travel Authorisation for travelling to India.This facility is in addition to the existing Visa services. This facility is also available to the citizens of Montenegro as well. Queries related to e-TV; for any assistance call 24x7 Visa support centre at +91-11-24300666 or send email to email@example.com.
NEWS ARTICLES India and Austria Sign a Protocol amending the India-Austria Double Taxation Avoidance Convention
ndia and Austria signed a Protocol amending the existing Convention between the two countries for Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income here today. The Protocol was signed by Shri Sushil Chandra, Chairman CBDT on behalf of India and Mr. Georg Zehetner, Charge d’ Affaires, Embassy of Austria on behalf of Austria. The Protocol will broaden the scope of the existing framework of exchange of tax related
4 • India Newsletter
information which will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance between the two countries and will also enable mutual assistance in collection of taxes.
Early-stage start-ups will look to raise US$ 800 million in 2017
arly-stage start-ups will seek to raise at least $800 million in 2017 as they stop blindly chasing growth and start looking for profitability, a report by venture debt firm InnoVen Capital said. Venture capital funding in Indian start-ups last year plummeted by almost one-third from the heydays of 2015 and 2014, when venture capital firms queued up to invest at high valuations.
According to a separate report by KPMG and CB Insights, a start-up intelligence firm, Indian start-ups raised $3.3 billion in 2016 across 859 deals, as against $8.2 billion across 890 deals in the previous year. According to the survey by InnoVen Capital, the slowdown in funding was palpable with about 63% of the 175 respondents— founders of bootstrapped, angel-funded or series A and B start-ups—described the fundraising experience last year as “unfavourable”. About 7% of the start-ups raised a bridge round, 9% ended up raising a sub-optimal round from new investors while 15% of the start-ups failed to raise any money. “The
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pointing out that investors are becoming cautious about where to invest. This year won’t be too much different. Investors will invest in companies which have a path towards profitability or at least understand how to move towards profitability. Money is there and will continue to be there for companies which have scaled,” said Ajay Hattangdi, group chief operating officer and chief executive officer (India) of InnoVen. About 94% of the respondents said they will try to raise money in 2017. “There is also money available for great ideas. Where there will be relatively less money is companies which have missed milestones or me-too models which will have difficulty to differentiate,” he added. Apart from demanding that start-ups slow expansion, slash costs and cut discounts, many venture capital firms are setting performance milestones; some investors are only releasing funds in instalments, Mint reported in January last year. The slowdown in funding has also prompted many start-ups to shut shop or sell out to larger rivals. According to Tracxn, a start-up tracker, as many as 212 start-ups closed down in 2016, including grocery delivery startup Peppertap and food delivery start-up Tinyowl, against 140 the previous year. According to the InnoVen Capital report, about 53% of the startups with annual revenue of more than $1 million will focus on profitability this year, while the corresponding number for startups with more than $10 million in annual revenue stands at 75%.
About 80% of the start-ups expect to turn profitable in the next two years. The report also states that about one-third of the respondents expect to give an exit to investors through mergers and acquisitions, an indication that consolidation is likely to be the flavour of the season in 2017. To be sure, there were about 162 M&As in 2016, including Flipkart’s acquisition of fashion portal Jabong and MakeMyTrip’s acquisition of Ibibo Group’s India travel business, and 150 the previous year, according to Tracxn, “Consolidation will happen. India until now hasn’t been an acquisitive market. At this point, there is a certain level of maturity among the companies. When they see a competitor being available for a particular price, it is a matter of time that people will see an opportunity in buying them out,” said Hattangdi.
India’s GDP growth rate for 2015-16 revised to 7.9% from 7.6%
ndia’s economy grew faster in 2015-16 than earlier estimated, which could result in slower growth in the current fiscal because of a higher base. Data released by the statistics department showed India’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 7.9% in 2015-16 against an earlier estimation of 7.6%. The statistics department earlier this month said India’s economic growth is likely to decelerate to 7.1% in 2016-17 based on the 7.6% estimate for the previous year, chiefly because of an industrial slowdown. However, it did not take into account the possible impact of demonetisation.
The Economic Survey 201617 authored by chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian said the demonetisation exercise could slow GDP growth by 2550 basis points in 2016-17 on the baseline growth assumption of 7%. One basis point is 0.01%. For 2017-18, the survey projected the economy to grow in the wide range of 6.75% to 7.5%. The upward revision of the 2015-16 data was mostly due to a significant increase in growth estimates for the industrial and services sectors. While the industrial sector is now estimated to have grown at 8.2% against the earlier estimation of 7.4%, the services sector is estimated to have grown at 9.9% against 8.9% earlier. The farm sector growth rate was, however, cut to 0.76% from 1.2% estimated earlier. Gross fixed capital formation, the proxy for investment demand in the economy, was also underestimated earlier. It is now revised to 6.1% from the earlier estimate of 3.9% for 201516. Private consumption demand, however, has been marginally revised downward, from 7.4% to 7.3% for 2015-16. Agencies that have revised India’s growth projection downward after the note ban may be forced to further scale down their projections for 2016-17 based on the new information. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut its growth projection for India to 6.6% for 2016-17 and 7.2% in 2017-18, taking into account the impact of the note ban. “In India, the growth forecast for the current (2016-17) and next fiscal year were trimmed by one percentage point and 0.4 India Newsletter • 5
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percentage point, respectively, primarily due to the temporary negative consumption shock induced by cash shortages and payment disruptions associated with the recent currency note withdrawal and exchange initiative,” IMF said. Andreas Bauer, senior resident representative of IMF in India, said the downgrade for 2016-17 was because growth in the first half of the fiscal was slower than IMF’s expectations, as well as demonetisation. “We expect the impact of demonetisation will gradually dissipate in 2017-18 and there will be a recovery in economic growth,” he added. Moody’s and its Indian unit Icra Ltd said India’s gross value added (GVA) growth at basic prices will ease in 2017 to about 6.6% from around 7% in 2016, with a likely pick-up in the second half, as the economy readjusts after the invalidation of old Rs500 and Rs1,000 currency notes in November. The Economic Survey pointed out that demonetisation will have both short-term costs and longterm benefits. “Briefly, the costs include a contraction in cash money supply and subsequent, albeit temporary, slowdown in GDP growth; and benefits include increased digitalization, greater tax compliance and a reduction in real estate prices, which could increase long-run tax revenue collections and GDP growth,” it said. 6 • India Newsletter
At 19 million tonnes|year, India 2nd-largest LPG user in world
ndia has become the secondlargest domestic LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) consumer in the world due to the Central government’s rapid rollout of clean fuel plan for poor households and fuel subsidy reforms. LPG consumption by households has reached 19 million tonnes, registering an annual growth rate of 10%.Consumption is expected to rise 20 million tonnes, backed by expanding consumer base in urban areas and rapid rollout of the `Ujjwala’ scheme for providing LPG connections free of cost to five crore poor households by 2019. The Ujjwala scheme has turned India into an example for energy experts from other emerging economies still struggling to provide clean fuel to their rural folks. No wonder the World LPG Association (WLPGA) -so far focused on developed economies -has chosen to hold its Asia summit in Delhi. Barely nine months after being launched by the PM in May 2016, the scheme has covered 1.6 crore poor households, topping the target set for the entire 201617 financial year on the back of a massive rural outreach push. “It simply beats me how they achieved this,“ WLPGA Yagiz Eyuboglu told a curtain-raiser session in a compliment to oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan. “When we assumed office, we had a system of misdirected subsidies, rich and uppermiddle class were entitled to LPG subsidies. There were many duplicate connections and the subsidized LPG was
diverted to commercial and industrial segments. As a result poorest of the poor never had access to LPG. In 2014, almost half of Indian households didn’t have LPG connections. We decided to change the LPG landscape in India,“ Pradhan said, giving an insight into the government’s thinking behind the reforms. Pradhan said reforms in the subsidy mechanism -elimination of ghost consumers and direct subsidy transfer -saved an estimated Rs 21,000 crore, or $3.2 billion, in the two years of the Modi government. During this time, he said, Rs 40,000 crore, or $6.5 billion, in subsidy has been transferred directly to bank accounts of consumers.
For Suzuki, India revenues beat Japan’s
he strong double-digit ride is set to make India a bigger market for Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) in value than Japan, its home market. SMC’s Indian subsidiary, Maruti Suzuki, already sells more vehicles than SMC in Japan, and enjoys a greater market capitalisation over its parent. SMC is faced with a declining market in Japan, whereas its Indian subsidiary is seeing a capacity constraint, leading to a waiting period of several months for some of its best-selling models. On overtaking SMC’s Japan revenue in the near future, Maruti Suzuki chairman R C Bhargava said, “This is not something that will come as a surprise to us. The home market of Suzuki (Japan) is stagnant. Our numbers will continue to grow faster.” The sales revenue gap between Suzuki’s Japan and India operations narrowed down to
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$600 million in FY16, from $2.55 billion in FY15. In these two years, SMC’s Japan revenue grew 2 per cent to $9.29 billion, while Suzuki’s India net sales went up 33 per cent from $6.55 billion to $8.69 billion, data from SMC showed. This reduced the gap in revenue between Japan and India. Both SMC and Maruti Suzuki follow the April-March financial year. SMC’s Japan revenue and India revenue also include its two-wheeler business, though Maruti Suzuki only operates the passenger vehicle business and the two-wheeler business is a separate subsidiary. The twowheeler business is much smaller in India and accounts for annual revenue of about Rs 1,900 crore or about $280 million. In the first quarter of the current financial year, SMC’s Japan revenue grew by a mere 1.1 per cent to 250 billion yen. This translates to Rs 15,625 crore. Maruti Suzuki’s net sales in the same quarter rose 12 per cent to Rs 14,654 crore. If we include the quarterly two-wheeler revenue of Rs 500 crore (approximately), the India revenue exceeds Rs 15,000 crore in Q1. The Indian subsidiary’s net sales in the first half (H1) increased 21 per cent to Rs 32,280 crore as it sold 10.4 per cent more vehicles than the previous year. Other than the volume increase, a better product mix and lower discounts improved Maruti’s average realisation per vehicle in H1, FY17 to Rs 4,21,000, up 9.64 per cent from FY16, and contributed to higher sales revenue. While SMC is yet to announce its Q2 results, Maruti Suzuki’s Q2 net sales have surged over 29 per cent to Rs 17,594 crore. SMC’s
production in Japan declined 10.6 per cent during H1, due to declining sales in both domestic and export markets. With this decline, the H1 revenue from Japan is estimated to be at par or even lower to the India. The H2 of the year will be more interesting and Maruti Suzuki’s capacity constraint will get eased with the commencement of production at its Gujarat unit in January next year. The new plant, in the first phase, will add an annual capacity of 250,000 units to the existing capacity of 1.5 million units between the company’s two plants at Gurgaon and Manesar in Haryana. The third plant will further expand Maruti’s volume and sales revenue.
India to beat Japan to become third largest domestic aviation market globally
he Indian aviation market is likely to overtake Japan this year to become the world’s third largest domestic market after US and China. “The Indian domestic market is on track to surpass 100 million passengers in 2017,” said Kapil Kaul, CEO, Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) in his address at the CAPA aviation meet. In fact, domestic air traffic could grow by close to 25 percent in 2018 and approach 130 million passengers. “In reaching this milestone, India will have achieved average domestic traffic growth of over 15 percent per annum since the liberalisation of the sector commenced in 2004,” he said. The reasons for the growth are primarily strong economic fundamentals, although traffic has
been over-stimulated by low fares, Kapil Kaul said. The ramifications of the Indian government’s demonetisation initiative announced in November last year is unclear but the introduction of the GST in the next fiscal year may possibly have a short term negative impact on economic growth for a couple of years.
Budget 2017 gets a thumbs up from Moody’s, Fitch
inance minister Arun Jaitley’s fourth budget has emphasized fiscal prudence while pushing for higher public investment—a “credit positive” for India’s sovereign ratings, Moody’s Investors Service said. Rating company Fitch also reacted positively to the continued commitment to fiscal consolidation and a broad reform agenda displayed in the 2017-18 budget presented. “We view the (budget) speech as consistent with the government’s commitment to gradual fiscal consolidation and balanced growth, a credit positive for the sovereign ratings,” Moody’s Investors Service said in a report. Jaitley chose to only marginally deviate from the fiscal consolidation road map by targeting a fiscal deficit equivalent to 3.2% of gross domestic product (GDP); he aims to bring it down to 3% in 2018-19. The initial road map required the finance minister to contain fiscal deficit at 3% of GDP in 2017-18 from 3.5% in 2016-17. “The revised fiscal consolidation path is not materially different from the previous road map and our projections. We expect the government will meet its deficit targets, based on India Newsletter • 7
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achievable budget assumptions and demonstrated commitment to fiscal prudence. However, given significant spending commitments and structural hurdles to rapid increases in revenue collection, there will be limited room for slippage,” the Moody’s report said. The credit assessor also favoured the recommendations of a panel led by former revenue secretary N. K. Singh that reviewed the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act. The panel favoured making the debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio the new metric. It suggested targeting a debt-toGDP ratio of 60% by 2023—40% of GDP for the central government and 20% for the states. To achieve these targets, the panel has recommended a fiscal deficit of 3% of GDP for the next three years. But it included an escape clause for deviations up to 0.5% of GDP, based on triggers including far-reaching structural reforms in the economy with unanticipated fiscal implications, acts of war and farm distress. “We consider the committee’s targets to be achievable. They imply gradual medium-term fiscal consolidation, driven largely by higher nominal GDP growth and bolstered by improvements in government revenue collection. High and sustainable nominal GDP growth will depend on the recovery of the private investment cycle, which will in turn be contingent upon the successful implementation of current and future reforms,” Moody’s said. The report also said the government’s revenue projections are realistic though it cautioned the divestment targets appear 8 • India Newsletter
ambitious. “The administration has budgeted gross tax revenue to rise by 12.2% year-on-year. This implies a tax buoyancy of about 1.04, which we consider to be realistic,” it said. The divestment target set by the government for 2017-18 is Rs72,500 crore, as against a budgeted target of Rs56,500 crore for 2016-17, which was revised down to Rs 45,500 crore. “A shortfall in disinvestment receipts could pressure the government to cut back in other areas of spending, including capital expenditure,” it said. The report also cautioned the government risks a slippage in expenditure projections because of uncertainty over compensation to be paid to states for potential shortfalls in revenue after the goods and services tax (GST) comes in, and outgo on account of 7th Pay Commission suggestions. Moody’s said the states’ fiscal deficit targets may be missed because of uncertainty surrounding the final impact of demonetization and the impending GST on their revenues. Fitch said: “The government’s fiscal deficit to 3.0% of GDP has been pushed back by another year, but the general goal of addressing relatively weak public finances over the medium term is still in place.”
is already being upgraded to support assembly of Apple’s iPhones, the Cupertino company continues to engage in talks with the central government over fullscale manufacturing of its flagship devices in the country. For this, Apple is seeking a 15year tax exemption from the government to make India a hub for exporting the devices rather than just producing devices for the local market, according to officials at the commerce ministry. Apple is facing a challenge of rising input costs in China, apart from the government increasingly cracking down on foreign companies. Wistron, which will assemble iPhones in Bengaluru, is one among the few original design manufacturers Apple employs to build its iPhones. The company has previously won contracts abroad to manufacture lowercost iPhone 5c, 5s, and SE devices, while larger partners such as Foxconn have handled production of flagship iPhone models. “Wistron manufactures low-cost devices for Apple, the iPhone 5c, 5s, and SE. So the chances are high that only those are going to be manufactured at first. It also makes sense for them to save that extra 12.5 per cent on lowcost devices where margins are slim,” said Neil Shah, partner at Counterpoint Research.
pple is looking to produce lower-cost iPhone SE at its upcoming facility in Bengaluru as it looks to gain a price advantage in the market in which it has been a fringe player so far.
The iPhone SE, which was launched in March 2016, was seen as Apple’s weapon to win in emerging markets. However, the device saw slow sales in India after being priced close to Rs 40,000, a market where seven out of 10 smartphones sold cost less than Rs 10,000.
While the plant in Bengaluru, owned by partner Wistron,
“Winston has begun upgrading infrastructure at the Peenya
iPhone SE to be assembled in India
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location, indicating Apple is keen to make iPhones here. An agreement is yet to be signed,” a government official said. “More details will emerge once Apple’s talks with the central government are over.” In a statement, the Karnataka information technology minister said that Apple representatives had met the state’s ministers and officials on manufacturing devices here. Apple’s delegation was led by Priya Balasubramaniam, vicepresident of iPhone operations. “Our pitch to Apple was that they have the entire ecosystem ready here in Bengaluru. No other place in India can offer the pool of hitech talent, researchers and app developers,” said minister Priyank Kharge in a telephonic interview. Currently, Apple controls just three per cent of the 100-millionplus smartphone market in India. In the quarter that ended December, Apple said it had posted record revenue in the country despite a slowdown in consumption due to demonetisation. In the September quarter, the company had said sales of its iPhones grew 50 per cent in the 12-month period, signalling a positive environment. Apple continues a two-pronged attack in India, wooing customers with its latest iPhones and simultaneously pushing older models at more affordable costs. Nearly 45 per cent of Apple’s iPhone sales continue to come from models like the iPhone 5s that cost under Rs 20,000 on popular online retail channels in the country.
India and Italy Sign an MOU for Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector Especially on Safety Related Subjects
inistry of Railways and Ferrovie Dello Stato Italiane Group (FS Group) a Government Company of Italy managing the Italian railway sector have signed an MoU for technical cooperation in rail sector especially in the areas safety in train operations. On behalf of Ministry of Railways the agreement has been signed by Shri Vinod Kumar, Executive Director/Safety(coordination), Railway Board whereas it has been signed by Shri Renato Mazzoncini, CEO of FS Group, Italy. The cooperation areas identified in this MoU includes safety audit of Indian Railways and measures required for enhancing safety in train operation, Assessment and certification of advanced technology based safety products and systems to Safety Integrity Level (SIL4), Training and competency development with focus of safety, Modern trends in Maintenance and diagnostic etc. The MoU comes in the backdrop of emphasis given by Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu Minister of Railways, Govt. of India on safety in railway operation. He has directed Railway Board to collaborate with the international experts on this subject and identify the best practices in this field. Ferrovie Dello Stato Italiane Group (FS Group) is a fully owned company of the Italian Government working in the Railway Sector and is under Ministry of Treasure, Itlay. The Group, with its technical and managerial railway
expertise, widely recognized at international level, is one of the most advanced worldwide player in many field, such as design and realization of High Speed and Conventional Lines, Safety Systems, Certification, Training and Operation and Maintenance. The whole group currently employs about 69,000 persons and operates more than 7,000 trains per day, carrying over 600 million/year of passengers and 50 million tons of freight on a railway network of more than 16,700 km. FS Italiane Group, through its controlled companies, has been working in 5 continents, in more than 60 countries, with branches in : Abu Dhabi, Riad, Muscat, Doha, Istanbul, Alger, Bucharest. FS Italiane has controlled companies in many countries, among the others in France, in Germany, in Serbia.
Govt abolishes two decade old FIPB, to bring more FDI policy easing reforms
inance minister Arun Jaitley has proposed abolition of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), a move that sets the stage for more reforms in the FDI policy. Housed in the finance ministry’s Department of Economic Affairs, the FIPB is an inter-ministerial body responsible for processing of FDI proposals and making recommendations for government approval. It was initially constituted under the Prime Minister’s Office in the wake of the economic liberalisation drive of the early 1990s. “FIPB has successfully implemented e-filing and online processing of FDI applications,” Jaitley said in his Budget speech. “We have now reached a stage where FIPB can be phased out.” India Newsletter • 9
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The government is yet to announce the modalities of the new system of processing applications, which fall under the approval route. The finance minister said a road map for the post-FIPB scenario will be announced in the next few months. “We will have to see how the policy will develop in the days to come and if concerned departments will be given the authority to consider the FDI proposals,” a senior government official told ET. The government is also considering further liberalisation of the FDI policy and will make necessary announcements in the due course, the minister said. Experts said they will wait to see if abolition of the FIPB will bring about ease of doing business and simplify procedures. The FIPB had been meeting twice a month since 2015 to speed up approvals. “FIPB was processing the foreign investment proposals in a timebound manner, in consultation with various ministries. We have to wait for the announcement of the road map for foreign investment proposals to understand the impact of the move,” said Devraj Singh, executive director-tax and regulatory services at Ernst & Young. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion is expected to release the annual consolidated FDI policy circular by March. “It will be interesting to see the approval mechanism that will be put in place for sectors currently under approval route such as retail trade, defence and in-kind (non-cash) FDI investments,” said Radhika Jain, director at Grant Thornton Advisory. 10 • India Newsletter
Indian Railways to set up US$ 5 billion development fund
ndian Railways has circulated a draft cabinet note for setting up a dedicated $5 billion Railways of India Development Fund (RIDF). The fund will to be anchored by the World Bank and will serve as an institutional mechanism for the national transporter to arrange fund from the market for its investments. According to a top railway official, the fund will be managed independently by a non-government entity. “It will support commercially viable investment in railway sector in India over the period of next seven years,” the official said, requesting anonymity. Railways expects to construct high traction projects such as various freight corridors, warehouses, last mile connectivity for ports and electrification of various routes using this fund. Several rounds of consultations have already been held with various international pension funds including some big Canadian names to gauge market response. “Market sounding exercise has been carried out and has received positive response from both domestic and international investors,” the official added. As per the details of the draft note, the railways would raise 20% of $5 billion on its own. It will work on the commercial principles of project-based funding rather than sovereign based borrowing being undertaken for Indian Railways. “Projects which can give early returns such as freight lines and
electrification projects would be funded by the RIDF. Currently, because of the burden of high wages and pension bills, cost overruns of incomplete projects and increasing operational cost due to losses in passenger segment, there are hardly any funds left to undertake new projects which are profitable on standalone basis,” the official said. For the current financial year, railways expects to have a high operating ratio of 94%. Operating ratio shows how much of revenue goes into meeting expense. Lower the ratio better it is for the railways. The national transporter hopes to set up this fund by the end of the first quarter of the next financial year. For the next financial year, Indian Railways has sought Rs 60,000 crore as gross budgetary support from the finance ministry and has drawn a capacity expansion plan of Rs 1.35 lakh crore. It’s a sensible move. For vital transport infrastructure like the Indian Railways, we do need to leverage funds from multilateral sources. But in parallel, rail marketing needs to be thoroughly overhauled and revamped. The railways cannot chug along fine with 40% of freight revenue accruing from haulage of mostly un-beneficiated coal. Besides, we need independent oversight on rail tariffs. Also speedily required is competition in railway services, to improve quality and provide better value for railway customers and commuters.
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ISRO successfully launched 104 Satellites in a Single Flight
total number of Indian satellites launched by PSLV now stands at 46.
The imagery from the Cartosat-2 series satellite will be useful for cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use, utility management like road network monitoring, water distribution, change detection to bring out geographical and manmade features and various other Land Information System (LIS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) applications. The data sets could be used for urban planning of 500 cities under the Amrut Planning Scheme. ISRO Nano Satellites, INS-1 and INS-2, were also launched.
t 0928 hrs IST on February 15th, 2017 morning, ISRO successfully launched the 714 kg Cartosat-2 Series Satellite along with 103 co-passenger satellites on board ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C37, from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. It is the highest number of satellites launched in one single mission anywhere. Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the space scientific community and the nation for this proud feat. This is the thirty eighth consecutive successful mission of PSLV. All the 104 satellites were successfully separated from the PSLV fourth stage in a predetermined sequence. The
In addition, 101 foreign nano satellites from six countries were launched in a significant
international dimension. Of these, 96 were from the United States, and 1 each from Israel, Kazakhstan, UAE, the Netherlands and Switzerland. With today’s successful launch, the total number of customer satellites from abroad launched by India’s PSLV has reached 180. This mission involved many technical challenges such as realising the launch of a large number of satellites during a single mission within stipulated time frame. Besides, ensuring adequate separation between all the 104 satellites during their orbital injection as well as during their subsequent orbital life was yet another complexity associated with this mission. With this launch, ISRO has further bolstered its impeccable scientific credentials as a reliable partner for space initiatives.
India Newsletter • 11
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MAKE IN INDIA Women: Central to India’s Growth Story
MAKE IN INDIA: WOMEN EMPOWERED
omen play a crucial role in the growth of the economy. Over the years, Indian women have made a substantial impact and achieved success across sectors, both within the country and overseas. Today, India boasts nearly 1.4 million women panchayat leaders – a number that is an indicator of the leadership roles women are increasingly taking up. For more women to be a part of the workforce, it is essential to promote skill development. Skill development facilitates high productivity, increased employment opportunities and higher income. Skill India envisions to train over 400 million people in India by 2022. ■■ Indian women manufacturing
In India, the manufacturing sector employs 20% of the total workforce, much lesser than a number of Asian countries. Though women are underrepresented in this sector, there are a range of companies that have set an example for others to follow. JCB India, which manufactures construction and agriculture equipment, has witnessed a significant rise in the employment of women. Today, JCB employs over 110 women in India, who are trained at frequent intervals on the latest technologies. Similarly, Maruti Suzuki has increased women workforce in their manufacturing team from 274 employees in 2012 to 366 12 • India Newsletter
employees in 2014. The other companies that are increasingly hiring more women are Kinetic Communications and United Technologies. The latter has started an allwomen assembly line at its air-conditioner manufacturing facility in Gurgaon. Samsung too has opened 18 technical schools in India. The branch at Patna is India’s first female-only technical training centre and imparts skills to over 5,000 women each year. ■■ Internet and Women In India, over 110 million women are active users of internet and growing at a rate of 46% for females, according to a report by Internet and Mobile Association of India and IMRB International.5 Urban India isn’t just witnessing women’s contribution to social change, health care and education. There are a considerable number of initiatives undertaken by rural women at the grass root level too in spreading awareness for gender equality.
Women village-level entrepreneurs run a range of Common Service Centres in India. Vaijanti Devi, who hails from Bihar, runs one such centre and offers online banking services and enrolls villagers for the Aadhar programme.
here are certain sectors where Indian women are leading the way. The quantum of their workforce is gradually moving up the ladder across various industries. ■■ Banking ■■ Women hold the reins of some of the largest Indian banks and financial service companies. The biggest example is that of the Chairperson of State Bank of India (SBI), Arundhati Bhattacharya, who is the first woman to have held this position. She was also named among the 50 Most Powerful Women (International), according to a list compiled by business magazine Fortune. ■■ The other names that are part of the list are Managing Director
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(MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ICICI, Chanda Kocchar and Shikha Sharma, Managing Director & CEO of Axis Bank, who have played a significant role in the development and progress of the retail banking sector in India. ■■ Another achievement in this industry was the establishment of an all-women’s bank, Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) Ltd in August 2013. A pan-India bank, BMB has over 100 branches across the country. The bank focuses on providing monetary assistance to economically neglected, discriminated, rural and urban women. ■■ Pharmaceutical Healthcare
■■ The pharmaceutical and healthcare sector has seen enterprising women leaders. The first woman to have been at the helm of a pharmaceutical empire, Swati Piramal, is regarded as a pioneer who campaigned for new drug research in India and highlighted the importance of scientific innovation. ■■ Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is another exemplary woman leader who founded Biocon, the country’s leading biotechnology enterprise. She has immensely contributed to research, innovation and affordable healthcare. Mazumdar-Shaw has been conferred upon with the ‘2014 Othmer Gold Medal’ and the coveted ‘2014 Global Economy Prize’ for Business by Germanybased Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
more than 1.2 million women. Some of the biggest multinational technology firms, including IBM India and HP, are headed by women. ■■ The Managing Director of global technology solutions company IBM, Vanitha Narayanan, is consistently working towards the development of women’s leadership in India as well as the South Asia region. She is also a member of IBM’s Multicultural Women’s Network that encourages multicultural business women to expand their career network. ■■ Similarly, Nivruti Rai was appointed as the Intel India General Site Manager in March 2016. She succeeds Kumud Srinivasan, who was the first woman president of the computer chip maker. Having joined Intel in 1987, Srinivasan has spent more than two decades at the company and held several significant business positions. ■■ In an empowering move, Infosys has also set a target to have 25% women in senior leadership roles by 2020. The second largest Information Technology services company in India currently has 35% women employees, though
most occupy junior and mid-level positions. ■■ Women CXOs ■■ Apart from the sectors mentioned above, there are multiple spheres where women have achieved success at the CXO level. The biggest accomplishment is that of former MD of Britannia Industries, Vinita Bali, who quadrupled the company’s revenue to USD 989 million in Financial Year (FY) 2013-14 from USD 248 million in FY 2005-06 (She took over as MD in 2005). ■■ As the face of Britannia, Bali made efforts to promote nutrition and build the brand. She is the only Indian who is a part of the United Nations committee that was set up to lead the ‘Scaling up Nutrition’ across the globe.12 ■■ Another name that is counted among India’s most inspiring women is Indra Nooyi, who has ensured steady revenue growth ever since she was appointed Chairperson and CEO, PepsiCo, the second-largest food and beverage business in the world. Capacity building movement undertaken to build skilled workforce ■■ Of the nearly 4,400 start-
■■ IT-BPM sector ■■ According to NASSCOM’S ITBPM Sector in India ‘Strategic Review 2015’, this industry contributes a staggering 9.5% to the national GDP and employs India Newsletter • 13
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ups, fewer than one in 10 were founded by women, according to industry body NASSCOM. In the words of the CEO of NITI Aayog, Amitabh Kant,” India can grow at over 10-11% if we include women in the economic process. They can contribute to building new businesses – from traditional industry to startups.” ■■ To address this concern, the government has introduced a slew of initiatives to empower women and aid them in leading a sustainable life. ■■ Support to Training and Employment Programme for Women (STEP) ■■ The Ministry of Women and Child Development introduced the ‘Support to Training and Employment Programme for Women (STEP)’ scheme to provide employment to women. Under this scheme, women above 16 years of age are provided training to help them become selfemployed. The sectors covered under this programme include Agriculture, Food Processing, Handlooms, Handicrafts and
Computers, among others. ■■ Women’s Vocational Training Programme ■■ The Women’s Vocational Training Programme was introduced in 1977 by the Ministry of Labour and Employment. The programme attempts to promote the employment of women in industries (mainly the organised sector). As part of this programme, women are trained under the Craftsmen Training Scheme and Craft Instructors Training Scheme. ■■ Digital India ■■ Digital India aims to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. A beginning has already been achieved, with the first Women Village Level Entrepreneur Conference that was held in March 2015. ■■ Other programmes include Arogya Sakhi, which is a mobile application that assists women entrepreneurs to deliver preventive health care at the doorstep.15 Similarly, Internet
Saathi aims to deploy 1,000 specially-designed bicycles with connected devices to give women a chance to experience the Internet for four to six months. ■■ Start Up and Stand Up India ■■ Both the Start Up and Stand Up India initiatives empower women entrepreneurs and provide financial assistance to those who are setting up their businesses. The programmes also aid those who have already established their business but fall under the startup category.17 Through these schemes, the government aims to turn women from job-seekers to job-creators.
The road ahead
ith the power of digital technology and growing opportunities, there is a revolution in the way women are doing business. Some of them are already running successful enterprises, and many more are joining the bandwagon. For ‘Make in India’ to grow even further, women should be considered and promoted as key drivers.
INDIA PERSPECTIVES MAGAZINE ONLINE
India Perspectives Magazine
ndia Perspectives, the flagship magazine of the Ministry of External Affairs. The magazine is printed in 16 languages and goes to 170 countries, disseminating interesting information about India’s rich culture and tradition. For a copy of the magazine, mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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INDIAN STATE ECONOMIC PROFILE BIHAR
ihar is one of the fastest growing states in India. The economy of Bihar is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.4% during 2012-2017 i.e. the 12th Five-Year Plan. Bihar has witnessed strong growth in per capita net state domestic product (NSDP). At current prices, per capita NSDP of the state grew at a CAGR of 12.3 per cent during 2004-05 to 2015-16. Bihar is the largest producer of vegetables and the second-largest producer of fruits in India. Bihar has high agricultural production making it one of the strongest sectors of the state. About 80 per cent of the state’s population is employed in agriculture, which is much higher as compared to India’s average.
The state has a large base of costeffective industrial labour, making it an ideal destination for a wide range of industries. The state enjoys a unique location specific advantage because of its proximity to the vast markets of eastern and northern India, access to ports such as Kolkata and Haldia and to raw material sources and mineral reserves from the neighbouring states. Major initiatives taken by the government to develop Bihar are:
National Urban Renewal Mission
■■ The Government of Bihar has approved 224 food processing projects in FY 2015.
preparing a 20-year master plan
■■ In 2015, the central government approved an FDI project worth US$ 396.03 million for manufacturing world class diesel and electric locomotive factories in Bihar.
■■ Construction work of 2,232
completed during 2015-16.
(JNNURM), eight projects costing US$ 118.08 million have been sanctioned for urban centres such as Patna and Bodh Gaya. The key areas of development are solidwaste management system, water supply and sewage. ■■ In the 2016-17 budget, capital outlay of US$ 863.26 million was proposed for the development of roads and bridges in the state. ■■ The
for promotion and development of tourism in the state. km national highways through the state funds, 2,104 km state highways
Development Scheme and 251 km roads under the state plan was
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INDIAN TRADE FAIRS INTERESTED IN VISITING A TRADE SHOW IN INDIA? In case your company is interested in visiting a tradeshow/B2B event in India, be it one listed here or another one that came to your attention, get in contact with us via email@example.com to get more information about possible assistance/subsidies.
INDIA CARPET EXPO 27-30 March, 2017 Pragati Maidan, New Delhi www.indiancarpets.com
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INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION FOR PHARMA AND HEALTHCARE
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INVEST INDIA The Investors Desk of the Make in India Campaign The national investment promotion agency, provides handholding and facilitation services for attracting investments, including: Following up on approvals from Government departments/ agencies on behalf of the investor and the investing community. Providing handholding facilitation services from the point of arrival to the point of departure, including land/site identification and entry procedure advisory. Interacting with all States in a Hub & Spoke Model and providing investors with State policies relating to land/labour/capital and investment.Fixing meetings/ appointments between investors and different Government departments/agencies.
Invest India, The Ashok, Third Floor, 50B, Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri New Delhi 110 021, India 10 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. (Monday to Friday) +91-11-2419 0300 firstname.lastname@example.org
The team of domain and functional experts provide sector- and statespecific inputs, and handholding support to investors through the entire investment cycle, from preinvestment decision-making to aftercare. Invest India assist with: ■■ Market strategy ■■ Business plan advisory ■■ Location identification ■■ Expediting approvals
■■ Facilitating meetings relevant government corporate officials
■■ Initiating remedial action on problems faced by investors India Newsletter • 19
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The Best of Good Times in
Text: Hugh & Colleen Gantzer
ny time is a good time to be in Goa, but some times are better than others. And there is also a Best Time. The Best Time is December–January because it’s the festive season of Christmas and New Year. And the Best Time of that Best Time is here and now: the winter of 2004- 05. We’ll tell you why. If you’re a film buff… and even if you’re not … you must have heard that the Government of Goa has been trying, for some years, to move the International Film Festival to Goa. At long last they have succeeded. From the 29th of November this year, to the 10th of December, Goa will host the films and the film personalities featured in the movies selected for exhibition. This is, naturally, a star-studded event but, more important than that,
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visitors will be able to view films from all over the world before our censors have gone snip!-cut!mangle! and turned a good film into a caricature of its original self. It’s worth making the effort to see Goa’s first film festival because then you can be one up on your friends and say: “I was there when it happened!” Interesting things always happen at film festivals from the tantrums of actors and directors, to the choice of films, to… of course… the uncensored bits which your stay-at-home friends will never see. But the Film Festival is not the only international event happening in this very-happening little state. From the 21st of November, ’04, to the 2nd of January ’05 the body of St. Francis Xavier will be exposed for public veneration. This remarkable
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Spanish priest who was born five centuries ago. He was both a brilliant scholar and a remarkable organiser. He was one of the first seven members of that powerful Order of Catholic priests, the Society of Jesus, more commonly known as the Jesuits. After preaching in India and other parts of Asia, he died in the Chinese island of Sancian, in 1552 and was buried there. When, however, his body was exhumed, years later, it was found to be uncorrupted. Devotees believe that this was a miracle, evidence that Father Francis Xavier was a saint, his sanctity recognised by God in this supernatural fashion. For centuries, the body of the saint has lain in a glass topped sarcophagus above a side altar in the basilica Church of Bom Jesus in Old Goa. Very, very rarely, this precious coffin is brought down from its elevated resting place, and placed for public veneration. Thousands of people, of all faiths, stream past to pay their respects to the body of the saint, and often to beg for his intercession in the solution of their personal problems. This year the crowds are expected to be enormous because it is rumoured that it is the last time that the Exposition … as it is referred to …will occur. These, then, are the two major events that will bring throngs of visitors into Goa this winter. But even without them, this is the time when one of the two great festivals of this effervescent state, is held. Christmas in Goa has a very special flavour because it is the original version of Christmas. In many other places this sacred festival has been reinterpreted by professional designers into a noisy explosion of tinsel and razzmatazz! Here, in Goa, it is still as it should be: a real family festival. It is still centred around tableaux of the Christ Child in His crib, or manger of straw, surrounded by His mother, His foster father, animals from the stable, shepherds, and the Three Wise Men from the East. Or, as the Christmas Carol expresses it: Three Kings of the Orient. As the Bengalis honour Durga during Puja, and the Maharashtrians enshrine Lord Ganesh, Christians all over the world celebrate Christmas with images of the Baby Jesus in his very humble birthplace: a stable in Bethlehem. This is not the place to describe all the ancient customs of Christmas. If you’re interested, perhaps a Christian friend will tell you about them. But the particular flavour of Christmas in Goa comes from the attitude of the people. The Goans are
warm, hospitable, and very musical. You don’t have to go to a Christmas Eve dance in a fivestar hotel because though it’s great, and probably expensive, fun, it’s not Christmas. It’s not familycentric. In Goa there’s a musical explosion of fun and joy in virtually every home. And if you’re on the streets, when the crowds come streaming back from Midnight Mass, you’ll find virtually everyone wishing everyone else “Merry Christmas!”. And though you, personally, may not have a clue about the real meaning of Christmas, you’ll find yourself caught up in the mood of infectious friendliness. Christmas is, actually, the world’s biggest, grandest, birthday party; the birthday of Jesus Christ. Exactly one week after Christmas Eve, is New Year’s Eve and then, in Goa, you can really let your hair down. Why haven’t we spoken about the beaches? Because everyone has heard about Goa’s beautiful and very varied Arabian Sea beaches and there’s no need for us to try and gild the lily. You can paddle, swim, surf, speed on a water scooter, take a cruise to spot dolphins off-shore or crocodiles in the inland waters. Or generally loll around and soak up the sun sipping a tender coconut or Goa’s favourite tipple: a feni. This is a gin-clear spirit made either from coconut or cashew. One of us opts for cashew feni with any lemony, fizzy, soft drink. The other prefers Goan wine which goes well with spicy Goan food. Goan food is in a class by itself. There’s the traditional fish-and-vegetarian dishes of the Gaud Saraswat Brahmins; and there’s the better know Goan Christian cuisine. The Christian cuisine is strong on red meats, particularly pork, and is great on seafood. Many people will tell you that the best seafood in Goa can be had in the small beach shacks. Our favourite eating place is the large, and evolved, beach shack restaurant on Calangute : the famed Souza-Lobos. Here, if you are lucky, the weather is clear and the wind not too strong, you can dine at candle-lit tables on the sand, under the stars, and watch soft and luminescent breakers surge in. It’s an unforgettable experience. Goans swear by their favourite dish, Sorpotel. It’s made of boneless pork, liver, heart and kidneys spiced and cooked in vinegar, stock and coconut feni. It’s a bit like our Anglo-Indian vindaloo but much richer. It’s best eaten with Sannas: bland, rice-flour, dumplings. Another popular dish is India Newsletter • 21
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Chicken Xacuti (pronounced Shakuti). Here, the chicken is cooked in a delectable gravy of tomato, coconut milk and spices. If you have a sweet tooth, and can get a traditional 16-layered Bibinca, consider yourself lucky, but even if it doesn’t have so many layers, but still looks like dark, jellied, honey, it’ll taste ambrosial. The Goan version of halwa is Dodol: a black confection made of rice flour, coconut and pyramidal chunks of brown jaggery made from palm sap. You’ll find most of these dishes in the coastal areas of Goa where foreign tourists marinate themselves on the beach, being done to a golden turn by the Goan sun. The Christian population of Goa is concentrated along the coast because this is where there was a strong Portuguese presence for 450 years. The Iberian influence can still be seen here in the old churches, mansions and little bungalows many of whom still have the typical translucent shell windows of Goa. Some of the old mansions have been thrown open to tourists, others might even offer a home-stay if they feel you’ll fit in with their way of life. If you want to know Goa well, however, you must go into the hinterland and visit their beautiful temples. The architecture of the temples of Sri Manguesh and Sri Naguesh resemble those of churches, possibly because their architects and artisans had been trained to build Christian places of worship. But as we went further inland, into the forested mountains of the Western Ghats where the Portuguese had feared to tread, the temples took on a more ancient look. The oldest temple in Goa stands at the foot of the Western Ghats and it could have been built about 700 years ago. It is not a living temple. But if you’re interested in the temple architecture of Goa, do try and visit this shrine called Tambdi Surla, 66 kms from the capital, Panaji, in Sanguem Taluka. On a less scholarly note, however, the best time to visit the temples of Goa is when we did: in the small hours of the morning of the festival of Maha Shivaratri. Against the darkness of the night, the temples stand like beacons of fire, brilliantly illuminated, 22 • India Newsletter
and their religious ceremonies are evocative of an era when Goans prided themselves on their strong martial heritage. Even Lord Siva, in these temples, has a warrior’s moustache! Nowadays, courage expresses itself in other forms. One evening, in Panaji, we boarded the good ship Caravela and sailed down the river with a number of passengers in a very high-spirited mood. The Caravela (?), with its swimming pool, bar, dance floor, lounge, state rooms and restaurant is famed for its Casino Goa. In a brightly lit and glittering hall, wheels spun, cards flipped, chips clicked and the mood of the players varied from lighthearted wonder to fiercely intense concentration. Closed circuit TV cameras watched the games with unblinking, electronic, precision; the pit boss circulated ceaselessly; the manager surveyed the scene with polished cynicism tempered by many years of experience in many other casinos in many other countries; the dealers and croupiers changed, rested, returned to other tables in carefully programmed shifts. Nothing was permitted to influence the whims of Lady Luck. And the house maintained the anonymity of every player so that fortunes could be made and lost without fanfare or publicity. Casino Goa is a Teflon-smooth operation, growing in popularity among those who have the raw courage, or foolhardiness, to challenge the fickle vagaries of Chance till dawn breaks over Goa and its time to catch the next ferry ashore. As we said, any time is a good time to be in Goa. But this particular time is, certainly, the Best of the Best…
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