Govt thinks aloud on session for GST as Moody’s advises reforms

Consultations with various political parties on the GST Bill will be held before taking decision on the session

GN Bureau | August 25, 2015


#naidu   #modi   #gst bill   #reforms  

Even as union minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said that government may convene second part of the monsoon session to pass key legislations, rating agency Moody’s Investors Service on Tuesday cautioned that it would revise India’s rating outlook to stable from positive if there is a reversal of the policy reform process, if banking system metrics continue to weaken or if there is a decline in foreign exchange reserves coverage of external debt and imports.

The rating could be upgraded if its expectations of gradual but credit-positive reforms are realized in actual policy implementation and if the recent improvement in inflation, fiscal and current account ratios is sustained. This has been mentioned in its annual update to the market, titled Credit Analysis. Moody's has a 'Baa3' rating on India with a positive outlook. Since 2004, Moody's has rated India at 'Baa3', the lowest investment grade, just a notch above 'junk' status.

In April, the rating agency changed its outlook on India’s rating to positive from stable while maintaining the lowest investment grade status, based on its view that proposed and implemented policies are likely to lower sovereign credit risk by stabilizing inflation, improving the regulatory environment and increasing infrastructure investment while maintaining the ongoing improvement in fiscal ratios.

To calm down the high volatility in the Indian rupee, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan on Monday said India has sufficient foreign exchange reserves to prevent any undue volatility in currency markets.

“India has $355 billion of reserves and another $25 billion because our forward dollar sales are not due for the next one year; so, we have $380 billion to play with if needed,” Rajan said on the sidelines of a banking conference in Mumbai. “...we try to prevent undue volatility. If we see undue volatility, we have the resources to deal with it.”

Moody’s Analytics, the research arm of Moody’s, last week reduced its growth projection for India to 7% from 7.5% estimated earlier, blaming below-normal monsoon and its impact on rural demand and interest rates.

Meanwhile, the government has reached out to the Congress as Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu met senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge at his residence.

Sources said the government will hold consultations with various political parties on the GST Bill and only after all parties express their intent to come on board for the passage of the Bill, a final call will be taken.

It was earlier reported that the government was planning to convene the special session from August 31 to September 4.

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