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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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Government ends Haj subsidy as part of a new policy

Announcing the decision, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said it was in line with the government's agenda to empower minorities without appeasing them.

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A total of 1.75 lakh Indian Muslims can go for Haj this year. Wikimedia Commons
A total of 1.75 lakh Indian Muslims can go for Haj this year. Wikimedia Commons
  • The government had drafted the policy after the Supreme Court asked it in 2012 to withdraw it gradually by 2022
  • The government would utilise the funds saved from withdrawing the subsidy for the education of minorities, particularly girls
  • This year, the highest number of Indian pilgrims are likely to go for the pilgrimage

The central government on Tuesday said it has decided to withdraw subsidy given to hundreds and thousands of Muslims for the annual Haj pilgrimage.

Announcing the decision, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said it was in line with the government’s agenda to empower minorities without appeasing them.

“This is part of our policy to empower minorities with dignity and without appeasement,” Naqvi told reporters here.

He said the government would utilise the funds saved from withdrawing the subsidy for the education of minorities, particularly girls.

Also Read: Muslim women can now travel to Haj without Mahram

The government had drafted the policy to abolish the Haj subsidy in a phased manner after the Supreme Court asked it in 2012 to withdraw it gradually by 2022.

This year, the highest number of Indian pilgrims are likely to go for the pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia increased India’s quota by 5,000.

A total of 1.75 lakh Indian Muslims can go for Haj this year. IANS

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