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Calendar of main economic events.

1993

January

The central bank cuts its "overnight" lending rate twice by 1/2 percentage point to 10 per cent.

February

The central bank progressively lowers its "overnight" lending rate to 9.25 per cent.

A Government Committee on VAT reforms favours a continuation of the present uni-rate system.

March

The central bank cuts its "overnight" lending rate twice by 1/4 percentage point, bringing it down to 8.75 per cent.

The Government Committee, appointed to suggest concrete cuts in transfers totalling NKr 5 billion, is not able to agree on a common proposal for reductions.

Following a writing down of the banks ordinary share capital, Den norske Bank receives a further NKr 1.5 billion from the Government Bank Insurance Fund.

April

The central bank lowers the overnight lending rate in four steps to 7.75 per cent.

Norway's negotiations on EC membership start.

A wage agreement is reached between LO and NHO, as the government commits to provide to private pension schemes NKr 50 million for the lowering of the minimum retirement age. The agreement entails an increase in hourly wages of NKr 1 for workers not concerned by local negotiations and NKr 1/2 are for workers who may benefit from additional increases through local negotiations. Excluding the effect of local settlements, this amounts to a general wage increase of 1 1/2 to 2 per cent.

May

The revised 1993 Budget is presented to Parliament. The State budget deficit is expected to reach NKr 54 billion in 1993, roughly NKr 5 billion above the level of the draft budget approved in December 1993, reflecting mainly lower revenues from both mainland and oil activities.

The central bank cuts the "overnight" lending rate by 1/4 percentage point to 7.5.

June

The Parliament adopts tax reliefs for persons located in the northern regions of Finnmark and Nor-Troms, amounting - for an average income person - to NKr 7 000 to 8 000 per year.

July

Seven leading gas producers sign a contract with German companies, implying an expansion of gas deliveries of 3.5 billion cubic metres per year, and a 10 to 15 per cent price rise.

September

After the general election to Parliament (Storting), the labour party remains in government with strengthened parliamentary representation. The distribution of seats is the following (results from the previous election in 1989 are in brackets): Labour Party 67 seats (63), Centre Party 32 seats (11), Conservatives 28 seats (32), Christian Peoples Party 13 seats (14), Socialist Left Party 13 seats (17), Progressive Party 10 seats (22), Liberals 1 seat (0) and Red Electoral Alliance 1 seat (0).

October

The newly-formed government presents the draft National Budget for 1994. Based upon an oil price of NKr 120 per barrel, the State budget deficit for 1994 is projected at NKr 46.4 billion; excluding oil-related revenues and expenditures the deficit is expected to reach NKr 72.5 billion.

The central bank reduces the "overnight" lending rate by 1/2 percentage point to 7 per cent.

A coalition of the government and the Christian Peoples Party agree on a formula for implementing an increase in the wealth tax, in line with the draft budget proposal.

November

The central bank cuts the "overnight" lending rate by 1/4 percentage point to 6.75 per cent.

In the context of EC negotiations, the Norwegian Government presents a position paper on fishing, with the central tenet that fishing levels north of 62 latitude shall be decided by the Norwegian authorities.

December

The central bank raises the "overnight" lending rate by 1/4 percentage point to 7 per cent.

The national budget for 1994 is adopted. Still based upon an oil price of NKr 120 per barrel, the State budget deficit is expected to be NKr 42.6 billion; excluding oil revenues and expenditures, the deficit is projected at NKr 70.3 billion.

1994

January

The EEA agreement comes into force. Representatives of the European Union (EU) and EFTA reach an accord on additional regulations to be included in the EEA agreement, denoted as EEA2.

Statoil reports the first oil discovery in the Barents Sea.

The boards of Norges Postbank and the Postal Giro endorse a proposal to merge the two financial institutions with effect from 1 January 1995.

February

The central banks cuts the "overnight" lending rate by 1/4 percentage point to 6.75 per cent.

A government advisory committee presents its report on the future of private pension insurance. It proposes to extend the favourable tax treatment of private pensions to defined contribution schemes (under current regulation only defined benefit schemes qualify for reduced taxation).

April

The government formally proposes to merge Norges Postbank and Postal Giro with effect from 1 January 1995. The new bank will be the fourth largest bank in the country.

The new gas pipeline Zeepipe to transport natural gas from the Troll field to Zeebrugge in Belgium is officially opened.

This year's wage negotiations take place on a union by union basis without guidance from a central settlement. The public sector pay settlement entails a wage increase of NKr 2 100 for both central and local government employees as from 1 May. An agreement in the engineering industry entails an hourly wage increase of NKr 1 with effect from April.

May

The Revised 1994 Budget is presented to Parliament:

* the State budget deficit is expected to reach NKr 42 1/2 billion in 1994, broadly in line with the initial projections;

* excluding oil and gas revenue, the budget deficit is expected to be about NKr 65 1/2 billion;

* the Budget reiterates the central bank's commitment to maintain a stable exchange rate against European currencies within the fluctuation range that has prevailed since the krone was floated on 10 December 1992.

Den norske Bank initiates a private placement of 54 million shares of NKr 16.75 each, raising the bank's share capital by NKr 888 million.

The EU approves the "oil directive" regulating the exploration of oil and gas in the EEA.

June

Parliament decides to convert the public corporation Norwegian Telecom into a state-owned limited company.

Amendments in Parliament on the Revised 1994 Budget entail that:

* the reduced VAT tariff on certain food products will be maintained;

* the excise duty on cigarettes and electricity tax will be raised;

* the lending rate of the State Educational Loan Fund will be reduced from 8 1/2 to 7 per cent (excluding loans issued more than seven years ago).

Norway signs the Accession Treaty with the EU on Corfu on 24 June.

July

Increases in excise duties on petrol, diesel, tobacco and motor vehicles and the rise in the electricity tax take effect on 1 July.

September

The government presents proposals changing the conditions for petroleum activities on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS), including reduced government participation in acreage allocated in the 15th licensing round and a review of State shares in licenses already awarded.

October

The government presents the draft National Budget for 1995. Based upon an oil price assumption of NKr 115 per barrel, the State budget deficit for 1995 is projected at NKr 20.9 billion; excluding oil-related revenues and expenditures the deficit is expected to reach NKr 52.6 billion.

The Russian Foreign Minister approves an earlier agreement between the government of Azarbaijan and Statoil/British Petroleum to produce oil in the Caspian Sea.

The Working Environment Bill, presented by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Local Government and Environment, stipulates a ban on temporary employment contracts for companies' regular activities.

Statoil reports a large gas discovery in the North Sea close to the Gullfaks field, containing 60 billion cubic metres.

Parliament endorses an increase in income taxation related to the imputed return of owner-occupied housing. Henceforth the rate of return is fixed at 2 1/2 per cent for houses with an assessed value of up to NKr 440 000, and at 5 per cent for more expensive houses. In both cases the first NKr 50 000 are tax free.

November

The General Auditor refuses to approve the accounts of the Postal Giro on the grounds that unexplained discrepancies and accounting errors have been discovered.

In a referendum on Norwegian membership to the EU, a majority of 52.2 per cent of the electorate vote No and 47.8 vote Yes.

December

Statoil announces the conclusion of contracts for steel deliveries by European and Japanese suppliers for five new gas pipeline projects - at NKr 8 billion the largest ever on the NCS.

The government presents the final National Budget Bill for 1995, proposing a 1 percentage point increase in the value-added tax in order to achieve a larger reduction in the budget deficit than initially proposed.

Under the auspices of the OECD, representatives of the Nordic countries, the EU, the United States, Japan and South Korea sign an agreement prohibiting all State support to shipbuilding.

1995

January

The EFTA's surveillance body ESA declares the retail monopoly for wine and spirits in Norway as a violation of the EEA Agreement's prohibition of quantitative trade restrictions and provision on monopolies.

The Gas Negotiation Committee signs an agreement with Total and Gaz de France concerning the sale of natural gas to France. The agreement covers deliveries of 40 million tons of oil equivalents in 26 years, starting in 2001.

Parliament rejects government proposals on a change in the so-called split model for income taxation of self employed.

February

The Ministry of Industry and Energy announces 56 blocks on the NCS to be open for exploration in the framework of the 15th licensing round.

The government decides to abolish the State import monopoly for wine and spirits, although it would maintain the retail monopoly of these products.

March

The government endorses the EU's licensing directive for oil activities, implying that oil and gas are henceforth included under the provisions of the EEA Agreement.

May

The Revised 1995 Budget is presented to Parliament. Based upon an assumed oil price of NKr 115 per barrel, the State budget deficit is expected to reach NKr 6 billion in 1995, compared with a projected NKr 11 billion in the December Budget Bill.
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Title Annotation:Norway
Publication:OECD Economic Surveys - Norway
Article Type:Calendar
Date:Aug 1, 1995
Words:1687
Previous Article:Conclusions.
Next Article:Statistical annex and structural indicators.
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