National Economic Events in 2000
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approves the award of 25 oil exploration blocks to various bidders under the New Exploration and Licensing Policy (NELP).
Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited cuts rates for international private leased lines, Internet access, ISDN access and web-hosting.
The Director General of the World Trade Organisation, Mr. Mike Moore, meets Finance Minister, Mr. Yashwant Sinha; impact of globalisation on developing countries discussed.
Agriculture Ministry notification bans cotton import from Pakistan on grounds of pest contamination.
Ban on export of semi-finished leather and EI tanned hides and skins removed subject to imposition of export duties.
Cabinet decides to allow foreign companies to invest up to 74 per cent in Indian registered companies to establish and operate satellite systems.
Union Cabinet clears proposal to amend the Airport Authority of India Act, 1994, to enable framing of guidelines for long-term leasing of five international airports at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Calcutta and green field project at Bangalore.
Union Cabinet clears Rs. 600-crore Cotton Technology Mission to be implemented over five years.
Interest rate on small savings and deposits under the Public Provident Fund (PPF) cut by one percentage point.
SA Dave Committee recommends a parallel pension scheme; creation of an autonomous regulatory authority for the pension system and replacement of the Public Provident Fund with a new scheme.
Finance Ministry clamps provisional anti-dumping duty on all imported soda ash from China.
Delhi High Court quashes the proposal of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in respect of inter-connection charges for cellular mobile service providers and calling-party-pays regime. Directs TRAI to devise an alternative scheme.
Government launches Rs. 40-crore scheme for modernisation of tanneries.
Government permits Indian companies to issue American Depository Receipts (ADRs) and Global Depository Receipts (GDRs) without its prior approval and to place ADRs/GDRs privately with overseas investors. Automatic approval also for Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP) structured as ADRs/GDRs.
FIEO declared as the nodal agency for promotion of service exports.
M.A. Chidambaram, Chairman, SPIC and head of the Chennai-based MAC group passes away at the age of 81.
A Russian arbitration court rules in favour of Dr.Reddy's Laboratories in a patent dispute with Merck and Co over `enalapril maleate.'
National Statistical Commission headed by Dr. C. Rangarajan, set up former RBI Governor, to examine deficiencies in the country's statistical system in terms of ``timeliness, reliability and adequacy'' established.
Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) announces cut in mobile rentals and time charges ``in deference to the wishes of the Delhi High Court.''
Cogentrix of the US formally opts out of the much delayed 1000 MW Mangalore Power Project, citing ``better investment prospects in the US after deregulation of the power sector there.''
RBI prescribes prudential norms for banks lending to infrastructure projects under the takeout financing system.
Government approves SEBI proposal to permit investment by high networth overseas investors in Indian stock markets within the existing ceiling of 24 per cent on foreign portfolio investment.
Supreme Court bans discharge of effluents from heavily polluting industries in Delhi and Haryana with immediate effect.
Government decides to offload 51 per cent of its equity in Indian Airlines in favour of public, employees, Financial Institutions and a joint venture strategic partner, who will have a maximum of 26 per cent stake.
SEBI finalises norms for market making.
15 per cent customs duty on imports of milk powder from the US, the European Union and Australia following the first tariff rate quota (TRQ) deal under the WTO that India entered into on any commodity.
Government agrees to allow Hindustan Lever Limited to acquire 74 per cent stake in the public sector bread manufacturer, Modern Foods Industries India Limited (MFIL).
SEBI grants in-principle approval for Internet-based stock trading, allows unlisted companies without three years track record to list if they are funded by venture capital.
Ordinance issued for the constitution of the TRAI and for establishing the Telcom Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal.
India-Switzerland bilateral investment protection agreement comes into force.
Cabinet approves proposal for restructuring of Steel Authority of India Limited, with waiver of Steel Development Fund loans of Rs.5,073 crores, Government loans of Rs.381 crores and disinvestment in captive power plants.
Commerce Minister Mr. Murasoli Maran, on a visit to China signs agreement pledging India's support to China's entry into the WTO. List of products for duty concessions exchanged.
Freight rates up five per cent, to fetch Rs. 600 crores in railway budget.
Union Budget presented: New Taxes for Rs. 6,900 crores.
In the biggest deal in Indian corporate history, Tata Tea buys out all brands of Tetley Tea Ltd of UK for pounds 271 million.
Government imposes ban on setting up of new urea projects till 2003-2004 subject to review on April 1, 2001.
Scheme launched to extend geographical indication protection to Darjeeling tea.
India Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement comes into force on March 1.
National Innovation Foundation constituted with an initial corpus of Rs. 20 crores, headquartered in Ahmedabad.
Notification conferring industry status on construction sector issued.
Tatas and Birlas to set up for the first time a joint venture in the cellular phone business along with AT&T of the US.
Government notifies lifting of 30-year old ban on futures trading to pave the way for derivatives trading.
U.S. President Mr. Bill Clinton on visit to India announces lifting of sanction on Financial Institutions Reforms and Expansion (FIRE) project.
Exim policy proposes far-reaching changes including setting up of special economic zones and extension of EPCG scheme to all merchandise sectors and all capital goods on payment of five per cent duty.
Cabinet decides to amend the Foreign Trade Development and Regulation Act to enable imposition of Quantitative Restrictions on imports on a temporary basis in case of excessive imports.
RBI Credit policy statement withdraws stipulation restricting fixed rate term loans by banks to project funding.
Constitution of 100-member National Population Commission announced.
Lok Sabha passes Major Port Trusts (Amendment) Bill to enable port trusts to form joint ventures with the private sector, including foreign ports.
Tax on ESOP shares as perquisites off, only capital gains tax to be levied.
Foreign exchange controls on travel quota, gift remittances and donations relaxed.
Information Technology Bill according legal recognition to e-commerce and providing for stringent punishment for cyber-crimes, passed by Lok Sabha.
Forex control for second current account transactions relaxed.
Biodiversity Bill providing for measures to conserve biological diversity and sustainable use and creation of a National Biodiversity Authority introduced in parliament.
Union Government decides to allow disinvestment of 60 per cent of Air India, 40 per cent for strategic partner, including 26 per cent for foreign entity, 10 per cent for domestic FIs and investors.
RBI imposes interest rate surcharge of 50 per cent on import finance to check the slide in Re value.
SVS Raghavan Committee on Competition Law suggests a new law to replace the MRTP Act and transfer of Unfair Trade Practices cases to consumer courts.
Trading in index-based derivatives begins.
Private sector allowed to export sugar up to 10 lakh tonnes in aggregate and granted exemption from the levy obligation on the exported quantity.
FDI policy liberalised; dividend balancing requirements abolished for 22 industries, FDI allowed in petroleum refining and B2B e-commerce up to 100 per cent.
RBI announces transparent and non-discriminatory guidelines for banks for one time settlement of dues.
Interest rate on Employees Provident Fund reduced by one percentage point.
Union Government makes it mandatory for manufacturers of packed food items to specify the `best before' label as distinct from expiry date with effect from September 1.
Good manufacturing practices rules for Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha systems of medicine notified by Government of India.
Government tables New Agriculture Policy in Parliament favouring private sector participation through contract farming.
Electric de France announces withdrawal from 1,000 MW Bhadravati fast-track power project on grounds of delay in implementation.
Computer printouts recognised as documentary evidence by the first time in an Indian court.
Powergrid Corporation enters into alliance with Spectranet to provide bandwidth on telecom network.
Cabinet clears Rs.250-crore turnaround plan for Hindustan Machine Tools.
Cabinet decides to increase minimum compensation under the Workmen Compensation Act from Rs.50,000 to Rs.80,000 for death and from Rs.60,000 to Rs.90,000 for permanent disability.
Government announces appointment of global advisers for 16 PSUs including Air India, Indian Airlines and ITDC.
PM announces decision to increase Excise exemption limit for Small Scale Industries to Rs. 1 crore from Rs.50 lakhs and 12 per cent capital subsidy for technology upgradation.
Futures trading in crude oil and petroleum products permitted to hedge against high-volatility in international prices.
Foreign equity investment in micro-credit and rural credit operations permitted.RBI raises bank rate by one percentage point to 8 per cent; CRR raised by 0.5 per cent to 8.5 per cent to contain rupee slide.
RBI scales down balances in Exchange Earners Foreign Currency (EEFC) accounts to 50 per cent of the level as of August 11 to stem the decline in Re. value.
GoI announces opening up of national long-distance communications to the private sector with no restriction on the number of players.
Insurance schemes for the poor launched by Prime Minister.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) policy relaxed in respect of Special Economic Zones, Internet Service Providers and venture capital funds.
SEBI-RBI panel recommends that banks' exposure to the capital market by way of investments in shares, debentures and units of mutual funds may be linked with their total outstanding advances, with a ceiling of five per cent, against five per cent of incremental deposits in force now.
Union Cabinet decides to end VSNL monopoly on international traffic by 2002 instead of 2004 proposed earlier.
India signs agreement with U.S. on power projects during Prime Minister's visit to Washington.
Notification issued lifting the ban on sale of non-iodised salt.
Microsoft and Infosys Technologies enter into a global alliance, says visiting chief of Microsoft Bill Gates. Wipro to strengthen ties with Microsoft. Gates promises $5 m grant for rural IT drive.
ADR, GDR-linked employee stock option plan (ESOP) allowed for knowledge-based sectors. Benefit hitherto restricted to information technology and software.
Oil companies increase prices of petroleum products while import duty on crude is cut to 10 per cent from 15 per cent.
Visiting Russian Premier Mr. Vladimir Putin moots consultations on anti-dumping duties; India and Russia sign 11 agreements.
The Group of Ministers headed by Mr. L.K. Advani unanimously decides to allow DTH (direct-to-home) broadcasting.
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited set up with Rs.5,000-crore equity to take over the work of Department of Telecom Services (DTS).
IRDA issues first three licences for private sector to Reliance General Insurance, HDFC Standard Life Insurance and Royal Sundaram Insurance Alliance.
Germany announces decision to resume bilateral assistance suspended after Pokhran II.
ONGC to offer equity participation to global oil majors in six deep-water blocks. GoI rejects Enron's request for permission to trade in power through a subsidiary.
SEBI clears proposal for Index-option trading by Stock Exchanges.
Deadline for mandatory bar coding of packaged exports goods for retail selling extended to April 1, 2001.
Bill to liberalise ceiling on discount under the chit Funds Act introduced in Rajya Sabha
Multi-State Co-op Bill tabled in Parliament.
Across-the-board increase in import duty on edible oils.
BSE raises threshold for new companies seeking listing to Rs. 10 crores in issued equity capital with stipulation of Rs. 20 crore post-issue net worth.
Prices of kerosene and domestic LPG reduced.
Cabinet approves proposal to allow state-owned banks to dilute Government equity upto 33 per cent from the present norm of 51 per cent. Financial restructuring authority for lead banks and one per cent ceiling on voting proposed.
SEBI panel on take-over code decides to make it mandatory for an acquirer to disclose his holdings at three levels: five, ten and 14 per cent.
In-principle clearance to privatise the Export Import Bank of India has been given by the Finance Ministry, says Mr Y.B. Desai, Managing Director.
India Millennium Deposit floated by the State Bank of India for subscription by NRIs fetches $5.25 billion.
The Department of Company Affairs raises salary disclosure limit to Rs 12 lakhs .
Mr James D. Wolfensohn, visits India.
Garments industry dereserved .
Notifications issued for conversion of Kandla, Santa Cruz and Kochi EPZs into Special Economic Zones and for converting a private sector EPZ in Surat into SEZ.
Parliamentary sub-committee opposes decision to lease four international airports.
India restricts import of seconds and defective steel to Mumbai, Chennai and Calcutta ports.
Nation wide strike by postal workers demanding regularisation of over three 3,00,000 rural postmen.
ICICI Bank and Bank of Madura announce merger plan.
Financial Companies Regulation Bill introduced in Parliament.
Government offers 25 blocks for oil and gas exploration under the second round of the NELP.
SEBI fixes Rs.100 crore minimum post-issue equity for companies in all sectors making issue of less than 25 per cent; clears recommendations of Malegam Committee on valuation of illiquid securities and NPA provisioning for Mutual Funds.
FIPB clears Enron's propsal to infuse Rs. 1,083 crores as additional equity for Dabhol phase II project.
Companies Bill incorporating provisions relating to corporate governance, gets President's assent.
Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Bill introduced in Parliament.
TRAI recommends unlimited entry of new operators and cap of five per cent service provider's total revenue as license fee for public mobile radio-trunking service.
Bill to impose one per cent surcharge on income tax payable by domestic companies for setting up a National Centre for Calamity Management introduced in Rajya Sabha.
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