Economic affairs secretary questions global rating agencies

Saturday, May 6th, 2017, 10:33 am

YOKOHAMA: India has expressed its displeasure over not getting a rating upgrade by global rating agenciesdespite improvements in growth and fundamentals. Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das hit out at them saying they are detached from ground realities of India and that they must introspect as the recent reforms in India warrant an upgrade. Das is at Yokohamato attend the Asian Development Bank’s annual meeting.

Speaking to the Indian media here, he said, “So far as government is concerned, it will continue to take measures which are good for the country, which are good for the economy. The government will continue to take structural reform measures, step up public investment, do what is good for the economy, for our growth, for our employment generation.”

He further added, “The kind of number and quality of reforms which India has experienced in last two-three years is unparalleled. It is only in India that you see this kind of reforms are happening.” Das said that with all these changes, India has continued to maintain 7 per cent plus GDP growth rate, while the ease of doing business has improved considerably.

Stating these facts, he claimed, “If the rating agencies do not give an upgrade to India, if they do not give any weightage to it, I think they are probably far detached from ground realities. So, it is really for them to introspect.”

Earlier this week, Moody’s and Fitch cited weak fiscal position to keep India’s sovereign rating unchanged at ‘BBB-‘, the lowest investment grade with stable outlook assigned to India, a decade ago. In past too, India has questioned the methodology used by global rating agencies saying the nation compares favourably with other emerging countries on metrics such as default risk. In particular, it points to S&P Global Ratings keeping China at AA- despite rising debt and slowing growth.