Geert Bekaert and Campbell R. Harvey's


Chronology of Economic, Political and Financial Events in Emerging Markets




Major Political and Economic Events




The Rupee's ties to the Pound Sterling were broken and the Effective Rate was placed on a controlled, floating basis linked to a "basket of currencies."a


Stricter enforcement of the foreign investment code resulted in IBM and Coca Cola being asked to leave the country in 1978.a


Six largest remaining private banks nationalized.a


Indira Gandhi assassinated. Rajiv Gandhi sworn in as Prime Minister.a


India Fund launched on London Stock Exchange with net asset value of $440.5 million as of December 1991.aa


Indian nationals who left the country permanently before the introduction of exchange controls in India were permitted to transfer abroad capital assets up to Rs 1 million in one lump sum, and the remaining balance in annual installments not exceeding Rs 250,000. Foreign nationals leaving India after retirement were allowed to transfer abroad the proceeds from the sale of their capital assets up to Rs500,000 for each family on departure and up to Rs 250,000 in annual installments thereafter. Persons who never resided in India were allowed to transfer abroad legacies, inheritances, and bequests up to Rs 500,000 in one lump sum, and the remaining balance in annual installments not exceeding Rs 250,000. Foreign-born widows of Indian nationals were allowed to transfer abroad their capital assets plus current income up to Rs 500,000 in one lump sum, and up to Rs 250,000 annually thereafter.a3(first entry)


Powers were delegated to banks authorized to deal in foreign exchange in India to allow remittances of equity dividends, including interim dividends, in all cases where the Indian company paying the dividend is a non-FERA company.a3


The period during which foreign companies that transfer technology to Indian companies without taking an equity position can receive royalty payments was extended to seven years from five years.a3


Exports of high-performance viscose staple fiber were permitted up to a prescribed limit. Authorized dealers were permitted to furnish counter-guarantees to their foreign branches/correspondents to cover guarantees to be issued by the latter in favor of local beneficiaries on behalf of Indian Exporters, in accordance with local regulations where these stipulate that such guarantees can be obtained only from resident banks.a3


Nonresident Indians/persons of Indian origin (NRIs) and overseas corporate bodies were permitted to invest in India up to 100% of new issues of shares/convertible debentures issued by hotels in the three-, four-, and five-star category.a3


Congress party defeated.a


Late in 1990 the OTC exchange was launched and the Bombay Stock exchange was linked to the Frankfurt Stock Exchange to attract non-resident Indians and foreign investors.i


The Government liberalized foreign investment policy, by allowing automatic approval of foreign investment proposals of foreign companies with equity shares of up to 40%. The landed value of imported capital goods may not exceed 30% of the value of the plant and machinery financed with operations involving foreign investment.a3


Credit rating on Indian debt downgraded from Baa3 to Ba2.i


Government increased direct taxes, imposed import restrictions and attempted to reduce government expenditures to combat deficit.u


The IMF sanctioned two loans amounting to $1.8 billion.a


The IMF and the World Bank approved emergency loans to repay international debts and to partially offset the foreign exchange shortage suffered in 1990-1991. The government announced an industrial policy aimed at liberalizing the Indian economy and enhancing its attractiveness to domestic and foreign investors. The rupee is devalued 20%, taxes on dividends and capital gains for off-shore mutual funds are reduced, all subsidies on exports are removed, and the limits on foreign holdings are raised.


The regulations on FDI were liberalized significantly. Foreign capital participation of up to 51% in high-priority industries would be given prompt approval. Dividend payments would be monitored by the Reserve Bank. Foreign equity investments would be allowed for export companies.a3


Minister of Finance established regulations permitting the Securities Exchange Board of India to register foreign investment institutions. A limit of 24% of ownership of company established with a 5% per foreign investment institution. 


First ADR announced.aa


Foreign institutional investors were authorized to make investments in all securities traded on the primary and secondary markets.a3


Dual rate system was created.a


The limit of Rs 50 million a transaction for authorized deals was abolished. All restrictions on the use of foreign currency loans and credit lines with financial institions for the purpose of financing capital goods imports, including the $5 million limit on foreign currency loans by banks, were abolished.a3


Indian banks had to reach a minimum ratio of risk weighted assets of 8% by March 1994 and those with an international presence were required to do so by March 1995. Foreign banks were required to meet the minimum capital ratio requirement by March 1993.a8


First international equity offering by Indian company launched by Reliance Industries (petrochemicals).i


Stock market scandal.i The Indian income tax authorities froze shares of several large companies that belonged to proxy holders of those involved in the scandal.


First exchange-traded overseas listing.a9


ADR effective date. (Company=RELIANCE INDUSTRIES LIMITED 144A, Exchange=PORTAL)a11


Government announces that foreign portfolio investors will be able to invest directly in listed Indian securities. Simultaneously, the tax environment is made more conducive to foreign holdings of domestic securities.


Brokers go on strike to protest action taken by the income tax authorities.


IFC Liberalization date.i


Bekaert/Harvey Official Liberalization date. [Final and NBER version].


Kim and Singal Liberalization date.


Parliament's panel report on the stock market scandal released. Finance Minister Manmohan Singh is blamed for not being able to prevent the scandal.


Mehrez and Kaufmann partial Liberalization date. a1


The introduction of the Insider Trading Laws.a4


The Foreign Exchange Regulations were amended to remove a number of restrictions that had applied to foreign investors, and foreign investors would be treated on a par with domestic investors.a3


Annual budget announced.


Series of bombings in Bombay.


The rate system was unified at the Interbank Free Rate and the Rupee was made fully convertible.a


Essar Gujart launched India's first Euro-convertible bond.i


Entry restrictions for banks eased.a13


Trading thinned due to a trading boycott by brokers in response to the demands of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) that forward (badla) trading practices be made more transparent or be discontinued.


Reserve Bank of India says it will maintain a tight monetary policy during first half of FY 1995.


Government announced it would lift its ban preventing companies from bringing into India funds raised through international equity offerings. 


Every preferential allotment of shares by listed companies to foreign investors should be at the market price. The shares allotted on a preferential basis are not transferable in any manner for a period of five years from the date of their allotment.a3


$350 million GDR offering by Steel Authority of India LTD (SAIL) is now scheduled for early 1996.


The SEBI (Foreign Institutional Investors) Regulations, 1995 came into effect. The regulations require FIIs to register with SEBI and to obtain approval from the RBI to buy and sell securities, to open foreign currency and rupee bank accounts, and to remit and repatriate funds.a8


Nonresident Indians and overseas corporate bodies were allowed to (1) invest in the schemes of all domestic public sector and private sector mutual funds and also invest through secondary markets on a repatriation basis after complying with certain conditions; (2) invest in bonds issued by public sector undertakings in India with repatriation of both the principal and interest; and (3) purchase shares of Indian public sector enterprises on a repatriation basis after complying with necessary stipulations. Nonresident Indians in Nepal were permitted to invest in India with funds remitted in free foreign exchange through banking channels. The repatriation of such investments would be subject to the existing terms and conditions.a3


The BSE decided to reintroduce badla trading. The new rules for forward trading called for the completion of a transaction, either by paying full price or taking delivery, in 90 days.


The RBI allowed nonresident Indian (NRIs) to invest on a nonrepatriable basis in money market mutual funds subject to RBI approval. NRIs and overseas corporate bodies are allowed to invest on a repatriable basis up to 51% of equity in unlisted companies in all industries except those mentioned in Annex III of the Industrial Policy.a3


The uniform limit on commercial banks' foreign exchange exposure was replaced by individual limits to be approved by the RBI.a3


Authorized dealers in foreign exchange were allowed to offer hedge instruments to Indian companies without prior approval.a3


The Power Ministry granted automatic approvals of up to 100% foreign equity to coal, hydro, and nonconventional energy-based power projects under certain conditions.a3


Government announced plans to sell part of its stakes in 5 public sector companies, telecom (VSNL & MTNL), oil refineries BPCL and Indian Oil, and crude oil and liquefied natural gas company ONGC.


Government exempted capital gains tax for investments in mutual funds made for 3 years or more. The State Bank of India launched the largest GDR issue ever by an Indian company. Telecommunications company VSNL is also slated to launch its GDR issue as the Government disposed 7% of its total stake in the company. Government also made plans to sell 5% of its total stake in Indian Oil Corporation.


Authorized dealers were allowed to on-lend foreign currency funds obtained under the FCNR(B) scheme to the domestic market. They were also allowed to take cross-country positions in their foreign exchange holdings, subject to certain conditions.a3


Reserve Bank announced it will lower the cash reserve ratio from 12% to 10% over the next three months.


The National Securities Depository Limited began operations. It carries out its operations through participating companies and the clearing corporations of the various stock exchanges. a8


FIIs were allowed to invest up to 100% of their funds in corporate debt.a3


Finance Minister announced that the Government will remove capital gains taxes on investments in new issues.


Laeven's banking liberalization (FLI) dates.a13


A new SEBI rule allowed foreign investors to purchase government debt and permits foreign proprietary funds registered in their own countries to invest in Indian stocks.


(Controls on derivatives and other instruments) ADs were allowed to use interest rate swaps, currency swaps, and forward rate agreements to hedge their asset/liability portfolio, subject to certain conditions.a3


(Controls on direct investment) The government of India announced the inclusion in Annex III of the Statement of Industrial Policy (1991) of (1) three categories of industries and items relating to mining activities for foreign equities up to 50%; (2) thirteen additional categories of industries and items relating to mining activities for foreign equities up to 51%; and (3) nine categories of industries and items for foreign equity up to 74%.a3


Applications to raise foreign currency loans under the $3 million scheme and short-term loan and credit were to be considered by the RBI.a3


1997/98 budget spurred confidence in the market. Budget contained provisions to abolish the tax on dividend income; remove the 7.5% corporate surcharge on profits; and reduce the corporate income tax on domestic firms to 35% from 40% and on foreign firms to 48% from 55%. Also proposed were statues to raise investment limits in firms from 24% to 30% for foreign institutional investors.


In the context of hedging of loan exposures, ADs were allowed to offer a combination of derivatives with build-in option components, provided there was no net inflow of direct or implied premiums.a3


Sudden withdrawal of support for Prime Minister's government by the Congress Party sent stocks tumbling 8%. Reserve Bank of India announced that foreign institutional investors could invest in all dated Government securities except Treasury bills.


(Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutions) The interest rate limit on ECBs for project financing was allowed spreads of up to 350 points above LIBOR and U.S. treasury bills. Corporate entities were also allowed to raised 50% of the permissible debt in the form of subordinated debt at a higher interest rate.a3


(Controls on credit operations) Exporters were allowed to raised ECBs up to twice the average amount of annual exports during the previous three years, subject to a maximum of $100 million without end-use restrictions (i.e. general corporate objectives excluding investements in the stock market or in real estate). The maximum level of entitlement in any one year is the cumulative limit and debt outstanding under the existing $15 million exporters' scheme, which is netted out to determine annual eligibility. ECBs were permitted to be used for rupee expenditures for roads (including bridges), ports, industrial parks and urban infrastructure (water supply, sanitation and sewage projects), in addition to the previously designated sectors of power, telecommunications, and railways. Holding companies and promoters were permitted to raise ECBs to a maximum of $50 million equivalent to finance equity investment in a subsidiary company implementing infrastructure projects. Corporate borrowers able to raise long-term resources with an average maturity of 10 years and 20 years were allowed to use the ECB proceeds up to $100 million and $200 million , respectively, without any end-use restrictions (i.e., general corporate objectives), excluding investment in stock market or in real estate. Corporate borrowers were permitted to raise ECBs to acquire ships and vessels from Indian shipyards. Corporate borrowers who had raised ECBs for the importing of capital goods and services through bonds, FRNs, and syndicated loans were permitted to remit and deploy funds in India, excluding investments in the stock market or in real estate, until their actual importing of capital goods and services takes place or up to one year, whichever is less. In case borrowers decide to deploy the funds abroad until the approved end-use requirement arises, they were eligible to do so according to existing RBI guidelines. However, ECBs of an average maturity of 10 years and above would be outside the ECB ceiling. ECB limits for telecommunications projects were made more flexible, and an increase to 50% from 35% of the total project cost was allowed.a3


(Controls on capital and money market instruments) ADs were permitted to lend and borrow up to $10 million in the overseas money markets. (Controls on derivatives and other instruments) ADs were permitted to book forward cover (beyond six months) for exporters and importers without the requirement of documentary evidence of a firm order or LC, but on the basis of a declaration of exposures supported by past performance and business projections. ADs were allowed to run a swap book within their open position and gap limits, and to arrange foreign exchange and rupee swaps between corporations without prior approval of the RBI.(Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutions) The CRR was reintroduced on an incremental basis on nonresident deposits.a3


Equity markets still feeling the after effects of the political crisis created after the Congress Party withdrew its support of the coalition government.


Reserve Bank lowered lending rate by 1% to 10%. Political concerns caused low trading volume with noticeable lack of foreign interest.


Release of the new budget. t


Proposal to implement a market-friendly carry-forward trading system.


The government raised import duties and cut public spending. Increase wage for the middle and lower ranks of 5.3 million government employees.


The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) reduced the margin on carry-forward business to 10% from 15% and removed margins on carry -forward deliveries which were 7.5%. It also made it mandatory for domestic and foreign institutional investors to trade in only the dematerialized form of shares in some companies, effective January 15.


(Controls on capital and money market instruments) Banks were permitted to borrow up to a maximum of 15% of their unimpaired Tier I capital in overseas money markets. Banks were also permitted to invest up to 15% of their Tier I capital in overseas money markets. However, nostro balances arising on account of FCNR (B), EEFC, resident foreign currency (RFC), escrow deposits, and overnight investments were kept outside the limit. SEBI-registered Indian fund managers, including mutual funds, were permitted to invest in overseas markets, subject to an individual ceiling of $50 million and an aggregate ceiling of $500 million. (Controls on derivatives and other instruments) A forward cover facility was extended to NRI depositors in respect of deposits held under NRERA and FCNR (B).


The Congress Party intended to withdraw support for the 14-party United Front Coalition government over the alleged involvement by the its member-Dravida Munnetra Kazagham Party - in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Rupee dropped to a 20-month low.


President K.R. Narayanan had dissolved parliament. The central bank would defend the rupee. SEBI would change trading rules January 15 to allow settlement of stock trades five days after trade date. 


ADs were allowed to book forward contracts based on documents evidence exposure.a3


The first prosecution under the Insider Trading Laws.a4


A downgrading of India's credit rating to below investment grade. The central bank raised interest rate to commercial banks to 11%, a two-percentage point increase.


Over night interest rates fell to 9% from more than 50% last month. Expected India's GDP growth in fiscal year 1998 is 5%. 


The formation of the Hindu-Nationalist, and Bharatiya Janata Party led government. The U.S. S.E.C. Signed an agreement with the SECI to share information and help in the enforcement of their respective securities laws.


Previously unlisted companies were allowed to issue GDRs (Global Depository Receipts) and ADRs and some existing restrictions on the end use of funds raised through such issues were removed.a8


(Controls on capital and money market instruments) FIIs were allowed to purchase/sell Indian treasury bills within the overall approved debt ceilings. (Controls on credit operations) External borrowing guidelines for exporters and shipping companies were eased, facilitating overseas borrowing by eligible corporations.a3


The nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan, causing economic sanctions imposed the U.S. and Japan.


(Controls on capital and money market instruments): Controls on the end use of GDR funds were eased.a3


(Controls on capital and money market instruments): Transactions among FIIs with respect to Indian stocks no longer require the expost confirmation from the RBI.a3


Moody's downgraded the country's foreign debt rating to "junk". Foreign institutional investors would be allowed to book their forward dollar cover on "incremental investments" in equity with effect on July 20. A 10% additional margin on net sale positions for all shares, effective June 11. 25% net sales margin for top 150 group "A" stocks. A temporary ban on short-selling.


(Controls on capital and money market instruments): The authorities announced that the individual and aggregate portfolio investment ceiling for NRIs/OCDs/PIOs is exclusive of the aggregate portfolio investment ceiling for FIIs. The aggregate investment ceilings for NRIs/OCDs/PIOs would be 10% of the paid-up capital of a company. In the case of Indian companies listed on the stock exchange, the ceiling can be raised to 24% of paid-up capital.a3


(Controls on capital and money market instruments): Indian companies do not require RBI approval for receiving inward remittances and to issue shares to the NRI/OCB investors under the 100% scheme.a3


Government released export-boosting package that would include a 2-9% cut in export credit rates and an extended tax holiday for export units to 10 years.


(Controls on derivatives and other instruments): Indian companies have been allowed access to international commodity exchanges to hedge commodity price risk. Contract length is restricted to six months, beyond which RBI clearance is required. Crude oil and petroleum products are excluded.a3


On September 24, Finance Minister announced India would allow companies to buy back shares and ease restrictions on companies borrowing from each other as early as next month.


Government announced a $6.6 billion road-building package.


(Controls on derivatives and other instruments): Indian companies do not require RBI approval for receiving inward remittances and to issue or export shares to NRI/OCB under the 20% or 40% scheme.a3


Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was defeated by main opposition Congress Party in two key state elections held on November 25.


Prime Minister strengthened his cabinet with three economic reformers. The Government  liberalized the insurance industry to foreign participation and granted exclusive marketing rights to pharmaceuticals. 


All deposit rates have been deregulated except for savings deposits and FCNR(B) deposits.a8


Price increases on three essential consumer items (rice, sugar, and cooking gas) shook the market, as at least four coalition members supporting the BJP threatened to withdraw their support.


The government abolished the import duty on equipment used by information technology companies and did not impose a service tax on the industry. Fiscal 2000 budget was unveiled. Key features in the budget were the reduction in capital gains tax and the release of new incentives to invest in mutual funds.


Infosys Technologies Ltd., India's first NASDAQ-listed IPO was successfully launched, followed up with an IPO by Satyam Infoway Ltd. These IPOs launched India's IT sector as a true global player.


The national government, run by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition, lost the confidence vote.


Exports surged by 11%. The Reserve Bank of India projected GDP growth of 6.0%-6.5% for 1999/2000.


(Controls on credit operations) ADs were permitted to grant credit facilities according to their commercial value against the security of balances held in an EEFC account.a3


Bombings and sporadic clashes in the Kashmir region rained on the business mood.


(Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutions) The stipulation that banks must charge a minimum of 20% interest rate on overdue export bills was withdrawn. The interest rate surcharge on import financing was withdrawn.a3


(Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutions) Reserve requirements on domestic and foreign currency deposits by nonresidents were reduced to 9%.a3


In the final months, BJP-led coalition won the election and a stronger government was formed. Infosys Technologies, the largest by market capitalization gained 391%.


The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Sensex reached a peak on Feb. 14 due to heavy buying by foreign funds.


The Indian stock market registered its first monthly loss in over a year. Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha increases government spending and recommended to raise the foreign institutional investment ceiling from 24% to 40%, but each company's board of directors needed to approve this increase in foreign investment limit under India's Companies Act.


The Reserve Bank of India announced a cut in lending rates. News that India's department of direct taxes would tax foreign investors on capital gains triggered a free fall of the Bombay stock market with the BSE Senex registering a one-day fall of 7.2% on April 4. The finance ministry quickly reacted, reiterating no change in the tax code.


The Indian rupee depreciated 5.8% in the first three quarters due to rising import demand given high oil prices.


S&P downgraded its outlook on India's long term foreign currency credit rating from positive to stable. The State Bank of India, however, managed to raise US$5.5 billion from nonresident Indians through the India Millennium Deposit Scheme.


The Central Bank cut interest rates twice. The president of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) resigned. The Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) froze operations of Credit Suisse First Boston, and banned some forms of leveraged trading.


Brokers missed settlement payments on the Calcutta Stock Exchange. Finance Minister Yaswant Singh proposed measures to corporatize the stock exchanges and turn them into independent companies.


The government opened equity markets further to international investors, removing foreign ownership ceilings in many sectors.


SEBI halted the practice of carry-forward trading, leading to a lower trading volume and liquidity, and making it costly to buy big blocks of shares.


S&P downgraded India's currency ratings and outlook.


Interest rates were cut gain.


S&P affirmed the sovereign credit ratings and negative outlook for India.


Suicide squad attacks parliament in New Dehli, killing several police. The five gunmen die in the assault b6


India imposes sanctions against Pakistan, to force it to take action against two Kashmir militant groups blamed for the suicide attack on parliament. Pakistan retaliates with similar sanctions, and bans the groups in January.


India, Pakistan mass troops on common border amid mounting fears of a looming war.


India successfully test-fires a nuclear-capable ballistic missile - the Agni - off its eastern coast.


Worst inter-religious bloodshed in a decade breaks out after Muslims set fire to a train carrying Hindus returning from pilgrimage to Ayodhya. More than 800, mainly Muslims, die in subsequent revenge killings by Hindu mobs. b6


The Central Bank issued guidelines for foreign banks operating in the country to raise subordinated debt. That debt can be raised through head-office borrowings in foreign currency for inclusion in tier II capital in order to ensure transparency and uniformity, whilst the total amount of head-office borrowing is at the discretion of the foreign bank.b1


India's cabinet on 22 February finally approved a landmark labor reform - industrial firms with up to 1,000 employees should be able to fire workers and close units without prior government approval.


Between 25 and 30 people are thought to have died today in the state of Gujarat when an angry mob of Muslims stoned and burnt a train carrying Hindu activists who were returning from the town of Ayodhya.b1


Cabinet approves new auto policy, opening up FDI.


India's Upper House, the Rajya Sabha, defeated the government's Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO).


The Indian government has extended the 100% tax holiday for firms involved in developing the country's industrial parks by another four years to March 2006.


More than 30 people killed in raid on Indian army camp in Kashmir, which India blames on Pakistani-based rebels. Moderate Kashmiri separatist leader Abdul Gani Lone shot dead in Srinagar by suspected Islamist militants.

Pakistan test-fires three medium-range surface-to-surface Ghauri missiles, which are capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

War of words between Indian and Pakistani leaders intensifies. Actual war seems imminent.


The Indian government has decided to introduce legislation to parliament to help banks recover millions of dollars in loan defaults.


Retired scientist and architect of India's missile program APJ Abdul Kalam elected president.


Kashmir's separatist alliance, the All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC), announced that it would be willing to talk to a key government panel set to explore options for promoting talks in Kashmir.


President Abdul Kalam signed into law a controversial reform of electoral regulations. Under the new legislation candidates will not have to disclose criminal cases pending against them,


The Indian government is to bail out the nation's leading mutual fund to the tune of Rs145bn (US$3bn),


Elections in the state of Jammu and Kashmir have come to an end amidst Indian claims that the overall turnout reached 46% despite the constant threat of violence.


Russian President Vladimir Putin signed eight agreements during talks with senior Indian government officials.


The Bank of India lowered interest rates to their lowest level in 32 years to 6.0% to boost growth.


Finance Minister Jaswant Singh announced that he will offer a 100% tax exemption to offshore bank units that establish themselves in Special Economic Zones (SEZs). The exemption will initially last for three years, followed by an exemption of 50% for a further two years.b1


A number of activists belonging to Jammu and Kashmir's ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) announced their resignations, over fears for their personal safety.


It emerged on 17 May that a large-scale military crackdown on Islamic militants in Indian-administered Kashmir has been under way since 22 April


India and China reached de facto agreement over status of Tibet and Sikkim in landmark cross-border trade agreement.


India has formally moved from debtor to creditor in its relations with the IMF, according to a statement published by the Reserve Bank of India on 28 June.


the Supreme Court ruled that government employees do not have the right to strike


At least 50 people are killed in two simultaneous bomb blasts in Bombay.


The decision by India's cabinet to approve the accession of a co-operation treaty with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) paves the way for closer links between New Delhi and ASEAN's member states.


Liberalization of Indian pension system to create billion-dollar industry


Foreign exchange levels stood at US$91.32bn, up $21Bn from the beginning of the year.


India matches Pakistan's declaration of a Kashmir ceasefire.


The government has prepaid US$1.3bn of multilateral debts


India and Pakistan agreed to resume direct air links and to allow over flights.


The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) unveiled tripartite strategy to create 20m jobs in India. b1


Government Privatization Board relaxes ownership rules on energy, telecoms companies.


The Reserve Bank of India confirmed on 2 January that the government had successfully completed the prepayment of US$2bn of foreign debt. b1


Groundbreaking meeting held between government and moderate Kashmir separatists. b6


The government unveiled significant changes to the foreign direct investment ceilings for banking, energy and technical journals


The first meeting of the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) ended with an agreement to boost commercial relations.b1


More than two million government, financial and industrial workers have gone on a one-day strike, against the government's privatization policy and a court ruling in August 2003 that sought to ban worker strikes. b6


The moderate faction of Kashmir's main separatist group, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), announced that it was prepared to undertake a second round of talks with the federal government.


The World Bank's assistance to India is set to climb from US$2bn for FY2003 up to US$4bn for this fiscal year, with the lion's share of the loans aimed at improving the national infrastructure.


Landmine attack on bus in Kashmir carrying Indian soldiers and their relatives kills 33.b6


Surprise victory for Congress Party in general elections. Manmohan Singh is sworn in as prime minister.


The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government yesterday unveiled its Common Minimum Program (CMP), which provides a broad outline of its strategy for the next five years.


Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel announced yesterday that the ceiling on foreign ownership in the proposed sale of two of the country's key airports had been reduced to 49% from 74%. b1


Parliament closes for two days after the opposition demands the new government sack ministers it deems unfit for office. b6


India's state finance ministers have agreed to the implementation of a value-added tax (VAT) by April 1 2005.


The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stakes its future on pursuit of Hindu Nationalism. b1


Regulations on Foreign Investors


Restrictions: 1. Foreign investors must register with the SEBI, but do not need any approval to buy or sell securities. 2. For a company in the list of 34 industries forming part of the Industry Policy of 1991, the permission of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is required for repatriation; for other industry, approval is obtained from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). There is no lock-in period for dividends or capital gains. 3. No more than 24% total foreign ownership in the areas of finance, hire-purchase, leasing, trading and other service, and less than 5% individual foreign ownership in these areas.

Taxation: 30 dividend tax (or higher tax rates applicable to individuals, lower tax rates for tax treaties, 20% flat tax rate for non-resident Indians without deductions), 20% institutional dividend tax, and 20% capital-gain tax. a5(first entry)


Restrictions: No change to restriction 1 and 2. 3. No more than 24% total foreign ownership and less than 10% individual foreign ownership..

Taxation: No change. a5


Restrictions: No change to restriction 1 and 2. 3. No more than 30% total foreign ownership and less than 10% individual foreign ownership.

Taxation: No dividend tax rate and 10% tax on capital gains.a5


Restrictions: No change through 2001.a5

Taxation: MAT (minimum alternative tax) can no longer be carried forward and set off against income tax payable starting March 1st. b1


Restrictions: 1. The government set up special economic zones, where investment restrictions are less stringent. b3

Taxation: Non-resident corporations are taxed at a basic rate of 40%, which is raised to an effective rate of 41% by the additional surcharge.


Restrictions: 1. FDI limit is raised from 49% to 74% in private banks. 2. The 26% cap on FDI in oil refining and the 74% limit on oil marketing 3. Limits lifted completely in retailing 4. Scientific Journals limits lifted, ending ceiling of 74% 5. FDI limit remained 49% for telecommunications b1