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India may lose credibility if PM Modi fails to rein in BJP members: Moody’s

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Chennai: Cautioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Moody’s Analytics on Friday said that the country may lose domestic and global credibility if he does not rein in the members of the ruling BJP.

The research firm, whose parent runs global rating agency Moody’s, said controversial comments from various party members amid the raging beef controversy is not helping the government.

“While PM Modi has largely distanced himself from the nationalist gibes, the belligerent provocation of various Indian minorities has raised ethnic tensions,” said Moody’s Analytics.

The ruling BJP does not have a majority in the Rajya Sabha, where crucial reforms bills have been met with an obstructionist opposition, it noted.

In a report titled ‘India Outlook: Searching for Potential’, Moody’s Analytics, a division of Moody’s Corporation, said:

“Along with a possible increase in violence, the government will face stiffer opposition in the upper house as debate turns away from economic policy.”

Moody’s Analytics, a top economic policy research and analysis institution, said the politics need to improve and the government’s reform agenda needs attention to achieve long-term growth.

While the government met with obstructionist opposition in the upper house with regard to crucial reform measures, the ruling party also hasn’t helped itself with controversial comments by its members, Moody’s Analytics said.

The Indian economy is likely to grow at 7.6 percent this year and in 2016 while closing of negative output growth is going to be difficult due to external headwinds and the government failing to deliver on reforms, it added.

“Overall, it’s unclear whether India can deliver the promised reforms and hit its growth potential. Undoubtedly, numerous political outcomes will dictate the extent of success.”

According to the report, the Indian economy is expected to grow around 7.3 percent year-on-year in September quarter which is below the expected potential of around nine or 10 percent.

Expecting the gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at 7.6 percent this year and 2016, Moody’s Analytics said key economic reforms like goods and service tax, revamped labour laws and land acquisition bill would improve India’s productivity.

According to the report, low interest rates will help the economy in the short term and the financial market sentiment has faded. Further rate cuts in 2015 are unlikely, but there is room for more next year.

The Indian stock market and the foreign inflows are down while the strong external headwinds-slowdown in global growth are hurting Indian exporters.

Moody’s Analytics expects Indian exports continue to fall in 2016 while the newfound stability in India’s current account balance could come under renewed stress if global growth slows more.

“So far, lower oil prices have buttressed the trade balance. But a rebound in prices if oil supply re-balances could see the trade balance deteriorate,” the report adds.

According to Moody’s Analytics, indications are there on foreign investors turning less optimistic about India’s economic prospects.

“Net financial flows into equity were around $16 billion in 2014. However, they are unlikely to reach those highs this year. The same can be said about financial flows into India’s debt market,” the report said.

A move towards full capital account liberalisation is inevitable in India and this may happen in the next two to four years.

“A freer capital account will give Indian companies greater access to overseas markets, lower borrowing costs, and facilitate credit growth – a key ingredient to increasing investment,” Moody’s Analytics said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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India China’s Fight Over the Doklam Plateau Explained

Doklam or Donglang, is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India

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picture from- indiaopines.com

By Ruchika Verma

  • India and China have an old history of disputes
  • This time, the dispute is regarding the Dokplam Plateau
  • The area is of strategic importance for both the nations

Disputes between India and China are not at all uncommon. The rivalry between the two nations is famous. There have been several disputes between the two on the India-China border in past, and there seems to be no stopping for these disputes in the present or future, for that matter.

India and China have a n old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com
India and China have an old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com

In June 2017, the world witnessed yet another dispute arising between India and China. This time the dispute was about China building a road extending to Doklam Plateau, which both nations have been fighting over for years now.

Also Read: China is likely to get involved if India disrupts $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

History of the dispute 

Doklam or Donglang (in Chinese), is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India. India doesn’t directly claim the area but supports Bhutan’s claims on it.

India fits into the picture, as this plateau is an important area for India. Not only is Bhutan one of the biggest allies of India; China gaining access over the Doklam Plateau will also endanger India’s borders, making them vulnerable to attacks.

Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan's borders.
Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan’s borders.

Apart from the hostile history of the two nations, the Doklam Plateau is also important for India to maintain its control over a land corridor that connects to its remote northeastern States. China building a road through Doklam surely threatens that control.

A complete timeline of what happened in the recent Doklam Standoff 

On 16 June 2017, Chinese troops with construction vehicles and excavators began extending an existing road southward on the Doklam plateau, near India’s border. It was Bhutan which raised the alarm for India.

On 18 June 2017, India responded by sending around 270 Indian troops, with weapons and two bulldozers to evict the Chinese troops from Doklam.

On 29 June 2017, Bhutan protested against the construction of a road in the disputed territory.  According to the Bhutanese government, China attempted to extend a road in an area which is shared both Bhutan and India, along with China.

Between 30 June 2017 and 5 July 2017, China released multiple statements justifying their claim over the Doklam plateau. They cited reasons as to why the Doklam standoff wasn’t really needed. And how China has not intruded into India’s territory to incite the standoff.

On 19th July 2017, China asked India again to withdraw its troops from the Doklam. On 24th July 2017,  Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in his statement, asked India to withdraw and behave themselves to maintain peace.

India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC
India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC

Also Read: Why India Must Counter China’s High-Altitude Land Grab?

What followed till 16th August 2017 was China constantly alleging India of trying to create trouble. They accused India of trying to disturb the peace and not withdrawing the troops, even after repeated reminders. They also accused India of bullying.

India, however, kept quiet during the whole fiasco, only releasing a statement regarding their stand and position at the Doklam standoff.

On 28 August 2017, India and China finally announced that they had agreed to pull their troops back from the Doklam standoff. The withdrawal was completed on that very day.

On 7 September 2017, many media reports claimed that both nation’s troops have not left the site completely. They were still patrolling the area, simply having moved 150 meters away from their previous position.

On 9 October 2017, China announced that it is ready to maintain peace with India at the frontiers. India reacted in affirmative, the peace was established when Indian Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman’s visited Nathu La.

The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay
The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay

The Doklam issue, for now, is resolved. However, given the history of disputes between India and China, it won’t be a surprise if the issue resurfaces again in near future.