Thursday, February 28, 2002, Chandigarh, India





THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

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Budget Highlights

The following are highlights of India's Budget for the financial year starting April, presented to Parliament by Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha today: 

  • Indian mutual funds to be allowed to invest in foreign sovereign debt. 

  • India to allow full convertibility of deposits owned by expatriate Indians. 

  • Government to provide Rs 13 billion to recapitalise state-run bank. 

  • Net tax revenue showed a shortfall of Rs 206.83 billion due to low customs and excise duty collection. 

  • Total government spending for 2002-03 pegged at Rs 4,103.09 billion. 

  • Diesel prices to fall by Rs 0.50 per litre from March 1. 

  • India plans to cut 12,200 government jobs by the end of March 2002. 

  • Petrol prices to fall by Re 1 per litre from March 1. 

  • India to cut cooking gas subsidy to 15 per cent by April 1. LPG to cost Rs 40 more.

  • India to phase out remaining controls on agricultural exports. 

  • Government sees 02-03 defence spending at Rs 650 billion. 

  • Government allows foreign banks to operate as branches or set up local units. 

  • India to enhance incentives to boost grain exports. 

  • In telecom sector, 75,000 km to be added to optic fibre cable network

  • Retail price of PDS sugar will be Rs 13.50 per kg.

  • SEBI Act to be amended

  • New corporation for agriculture insurance to be set up. Agri-export zones to be promoted in different states.

  • Government estimates 01-02 privatisation receipts at Rs 50 billion versus targeted Rs 120 billion. 

  • Government allows Indian firms to invest up to $100 million a year through "automatic route". Indian companies wishing to invest abroad may now invest $100 million on an annual basis through the automatic route and those making overseas investments in joint ventures abroad by market purchases may now do so without prior approval up to 50 per cent of their net worth. 

  • Sinha says economic fundamentals remain strong despite difficult world economic environment. 

  • Fiscal deficit in current year 5.7 per cent of GDP. 

  • India sets government's 2002-03 privatisation target at Rs120 billion. 

  • India cuts rates on administered savings. The administered interest rates will now be benchmarked to the average annual yields of government securities of equivalent maturities in the secondary market. As a result, most administered rates are being reduced by 50 basis points from March 1, 2002. 

  • Fertiliser subsidy is to reduced by about 5 per cent. 

  • India says removal of administered prices for petroleum sector on schedule. Private companies to be allowed to distribute petroleum products.

  • India sets up infrastructure equity fund with Rs 10 billion. 

  • India steps up investment in infrastructure sectors to Rs 379.19 billion. 

  • India to cut kerosene subsidy to 33 per cent by April 1. 

  • India to provide Rs 25 billion for policy reforms in low-growth sectors. 

  • Futures, forward trading to cover all agriculture commodities.


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