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Investment project under the EB-5 Immigration Program for Indian Investors

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27th September 2018, Mumbai: New York State Empire Outlet Fund I, LLC, organized by the owners of the Colorado Regional Center (CRC), a US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approved Regional Center for the EB-5 Program, has recently announced its investment project –The Empire Outlets – New York City’s first and only retail outlet center, inviting aspiring Indian nationals to invest and obtain permanent residency in the US for self and immediate family.

Approved by the USCIS and with Goldman Sachs as a primary investor, the project has I-924 Exemplar Approval and I-526 approvals. Located on the Staten Island, the project developed by the reputed BFC Partners, in association with NYSEOF, CRC and New York State Regional Center (NYSRC), is bearing completion and is set to open for business by fall of 2018.

The EB-5 Immigration Investor Program:

The EB-5 Visa has been in the news recently for its rising popularity as an alternate visa for nationals seeking U.S Citizenship through Investment. While the EB-5 has been praised as well as criticised equally, it is yet to be completely understood by aspiring investors.

Simply put, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program offers foreign nationals an opportunity to invest in a qualifying project in the US and to relocate with their spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 years. They can enjoy the benefits of permanent residency and can work, attend school, or retire anywhere in the U.S.In turn, the U.S. economy benefits through capital support for important projects while new avenues for high paying American jobs are created.

Typically, interested investors are required to make a minimum investment of USD 500,000 for a project, located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) or USD 1,000,000 million for a project not located in a TEA. While the investor has a choice to invest individually or work with a larger pool of investors via the USCIS approved regional centers, they need to fulfill the mandate of creating and preserving 10 direct, permanent full-time jobs for qualified American workers. If they invest through a Regional Center they need to create 10 direct or indirect jobs. If they invest individually they need to create 10 direct jobs.

Highlighting the unique investment advantage in the Empire Outlet project for EB-5 visa aspirants in India, Mr. Deepesh Deshmukh, Project Facilitator for India, said, “The Empire Outlet Project is a first of its kind Outlet Mall in New York and its grand opening ahead of the holiday season this year, is highly anticipated. While this translates as a short investment window for Indian Investors, it also ensures a reduced time frame of processing of permanent residency application. With the recent uncertainty over the investment value slabs being raised from USD 500,000 for TEA and USD 1,000,000 for non-TEA (an EB-5 raise is suggested to go to close to $1M for TEA and $1.8M for non-TEA per draft legislation), the Empire Outlet project offers Indian investors seeking immediate participation, an opportunity to enjoy the current rates, with the assured benefit of accelerated permanent residency.”

Empire Outlet – Project highlights:

Located strategically adjacent to the St. George Ferry Terminal on the Northern Shore of Staten Island, the Empire Outlet Mall is designed to house over 100 designer brands across 340,000 Sq. Ft. Retail area and multiple F&B brands across a 40,000 Sq. Ft Deck, with unique views of Manhattan, making it an upmarket shopping and dining destination of choice for millions of New Yorkers and tourists when it opens for business in the fall of 2018. Some key retail brands already on board with the project include H&M, Banana Republic, Nordstrom Rack, Gap Factory, Brook Brothers and Columbia Sporting Goods.

Speaking about the investment highlights for EB-5 visa applicants, Ms. Jennifer Richmond, VP, Business Development, Colorado Regional Center, highlights“We at NYSEOF and CRC understand the apprehensions and dilemma of Indian investors seeking permanent residency in the US through the EB-5 program. Our proven expertise and meticulous scrutiny of projects address

risk issues and create a path for investors to reap the EB-5 benefits of their investment while making the U.S their new home. The Empire Outlet is one of our most ambitious investment projects, undertaken in association with the EB-5 New York State, and we are excited to bring this to the Indian investors. With solid capital backing from Government and Private Investors, the project is nearing completion and has already generated approximately 3,300 jobs (we just received an updated jobs report!). We have also received our I-924 approval and over 80 I-526 petitions have already been approved. India has been an enthusiastic market for the EB-5 Immigrant investment program over the past few years and we look forward to an equally exciting response to our latest project from India.”

The Empire Outlet enjoys strong financial backing by investors like Goldman Sachs – the largest equity investor with 11% equity and from the New York state and the New York City government,who have pledged over USD 90 Million in the project through loans and grants.

NYSEOFAdvantage:

NYSEOF, owned by the principals of CRC, facilitates immigrants wishing to obtain permanent residency in the U.S through the EB-5 Immigration Investors program. As a USCIS approved regional center, CRC identifies and nominates selected projects to investors, assisting aspirants to make qualified investments and submit relevant documents to USCIS, which has translated to the creation of NYSEOF to facilitate the Empire Outlets project. A partnership was created with the EB-5 New York State regional center which ensures benefits to the project. (Actually the lawyers do this, CRC – or any Regional Center – is not involved in the filing of applications. They must have a trusted immigration attorney to help them with this process)

Some of the unique benefits that investors can avail by partnering with the Regional Center include:

– An opportunity to invest in a credible, USCIS approved the project, with well-defined timelines, supported by multiple investors

– Again, while we do support our investors, the processing of the green card is through their chosen immigration attorney Negligible involvement in managing the day to day functioning of the project as the investments are handled by NYSEOF and are often be pooled with multiple investors

– Achieve the requisite criteria of creating 10 full-time American Jobs We don’t have a proprietary methodology, but our economists do use the RIMS II analysis in establishing the job count, which is a rigorous analysis USCIS has already accepted and approved for Empire Outlets

– Pathway to approval for permanent residency with NYSEOF’s documented evidence of ‘indirect’ and ‘direct’ jobs being counted for each participating EB-5 investor

– Freedom of travel anywhere in the US and not be restricted to the area of the invested project

– Access to residency benefits, including educational, healthcare and lifestyle opportunities in the US (including residency benefits for dependent students)

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Fitch says India’s GDP to expand by 11% in FY22

It added that India’s medium-term growth to slow to around 6.5 per cent after the initial rebound.

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GDP means for you and me

Fitch Ratings says India’s GDP to expand by 11% in 2021-22 after falling by 9.4% in current FY21 fiscal.

It added that India’s medium-term growth to slow to around 6.5 per cent after the initial rebound.

India’s coronavirus-induced recession has been among the most severe in the world, amid a stringent lockdown and limited direct fiscal support. The economy is now in a recovery phase that will be further supported by the rollout of vaccines in the next months and we expect GDP to expand by 11.0% in FY22 after falling by 9.4% in FY21.

However, we expect the medium-term recovery to be slow. Supply-side potential growth will be reduced by a slowdown in the rate of capital accumulation – investment has recently fallen sharply and is likely to see only a subdued recovery. This will weigh on labour productivity and our projection of supply-side potential GDP growth for the six-year period FY21 to FY26 has been lowered to 5.1% p.a. compared to our pre-pandemic projection of 7% p.a.

Our historical analysis of India’s growth performance highlights the key role played by a high investment rate in driving growth in labour productivity and GDP per capita over the last fifteen years.

But investment has fallen sharply over the last year and the need to repair corporate balance sheets and firm closures will weigh on the pace of recovery.

Constrained credit supply amid a fragile financial system is another headwind for investment. The banking sector entered the crisis with generally weak asset quality and limited capital buffers. Appetite for lending will be subdued, particularly as credit-guarantee and forbearance measures rolled out in the crisis start to be unwound.

The economy should be able to grow somewhat faster than estimated supply-side potential over the medium term following the unprecedented downturn in FY21. But our projection for the medium-term recovery path – at around 6.5% p.a. over FY23 to FY26 – would leave GDP well below its pre-pandemic trend.

The research report, “India Set for Slow Medium-Term Recovery” is available at the above link and at www.fitchratings.com.

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Maharashtra stops automatic adoption of Centre’s GST circulars

What this means is that the state would have flexibility in devising regulations to suit its interest rather than blindly following the central circulars.

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Uddhav Thackeray

New Delhi, Jan 14: In a clear case of defiance of the Centre’s authority on GST matters, the Maharashtra government has decided that the state would have the last say in the applicability of circulars defining regulations on issues of the indirect tax.

A circular issued by the Maharashtra Goods and Service Tax Department (MGSTD) on January 12 says that the state would examine all circulars issued by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), and upon examination, issue a separate circular regarding its applicability for the implementation of the MGST Act.

With this, the state also withdrew an earlier circular no. 39 T of 2019 that provided for deemed adoption of all circulars issued by the CBIC by the MGSTD. The state, however, said that all central circulars issued till withdrawal of this circular would enjoy status quo and would be adopted for implementation of the MGST Act.

What this means is that the state would have flexibility in devising regulations to suit its interest rather than blindly following the central circulars.

In the fourth year since the GST’s implementation, this is second major resistance mounted by states over implementation of GST laws. The states already strongly resisted the Centre’s move on GST compensation and pushed it to frame regulations that protected their interest.

“Biggest fears of model code for a federal democratic country like India are coming true even before the completion of its 4th anniversary of GST. Fight between the Centre and states over compensation for loss has already reached judiciary, and now the state government of Maharashtra has also issued clear instructions that they will have parallel set clarifications on same matters which will supersede the clarifications issued by the Central government,” said Rajat Mohan, senior partner, AMRG and Associates.

Maharashtra has justified its move suggesting that it is to maintain the integrity of communication and avoid confusion caused as to which circular instructions are to be followed. Sources, however, said it has been done as on several matters, states had a divergent view on how things needed to be implemented. In additional, unique nature operational issues in the state, created difficulties in adoption of central regulations.

Sources said that the Maharashtra government’s decision would further weaken the process of decisions being taken unanimously by the GST Council.

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Modi Govt to sell up to 10% stake in SAIL via OFS

Shares of SAIL on the BSE closed at Rs 74.70 per share, lower by 1.58 per cent from its previous close on Wednesday.

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Steel Authority of India

New Delhi, Jan 14: The Centre will sell up to 10 per cent stake in Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) through offer for sale (OFS).

The OFS will take place on Thursday and Friday.

“Offer for Sale (OFS) in SAIL opens on Thursday (14.1.2021) for non-retail investors. 15th January (Friday) is for retail investors. GoI would divest 5 per cent equity with a 5 per cent greenshoe option,” said Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) on Twitter.

The floor price for the OFS has been set at Rs 64 per share.

Shares of SAIL on the BSE closed at Rs 74.70 per share, lower by 1.58 per cent from its previous close on Wednesday.

The government is likely to miss its disinvestment target by a wide margin and the fiscal deficit is not likely to be anywhere near the target of 3.5 per cent of the GDP in 2020-21 (April 2020 to March 2021). While privatisation of firms such as Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Air India has been pushed to the next fiscal due to COVID-19-related delays, tax collections have been hit hard as restrictions imposed to curb coronavirus dented incomes all around.

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