Moneycontrol
Feb 14, 2017 09:57 PM IST | Source: PTI

FinMin reels off statistics, says data call for rating upgrade

Citing sound macroeconomic parameters, finance ministry officials today pitched for a rating upgrade in their meeting with global rating agency Fitch.


Citing sound macroeconomic parameters, finance ministry officials today pitched for a rating upgrade in their meeting with global rating agency Fitch.


The officials also sought to understand how it rates sovereigns as rating agencies have been denying an upgrade citing stress on balancesheets of both banks and corporates.


The ministry also explained the representatives strict fiscal discipline that the government intends to follow, besides various steps taken by the government in the recent Budget to prop up growth.


The Fitch officials told the government that it focuses more on structural reforms with medium- to long-term impact to change its ratings view, a finance ministry official said.


Fitch has investment-grade BBB- sovereign credit rating with stable outlook for India.


It also explained the weightage given to different economic parameters and enquired about the status of India's labour reforms and the bad loan situation, the official added.


Not satisfied with the rating rationale, the finance ministry has often questioned the methodology adopted by global rating agencies, saying they have overlooked some recent reforms.


Earlier this month, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das had said the rating agencies are several steps behind from reality and are missing out on "something which only they can best explain".


"Last October, when we went for the annual meeting of World Bank and IMF along with the finance minister, there also in our interaction with several investors, they were surprised how the rating agencies have not upgraded India," he had said.


India was last upgraded by rating agencies almost a decade ago. Fitch upgraded India's sovereign rating to BBB in 2006 while S&P in 2007.


"I think the last upgrade India got was several years ago. Look at the trackrecord of reforms in our country in the last two-and-a-half years. Just list out the reform measures which India has undertaken, compare it with the trackrecord of reforms in any other country in the last 2.5 years.


"Look at our GDP, compare with other countries' GDP. Look at our macroeconomic number inflation, current account deficit, compare with other countries. Now, I really do not understand. I think rating companies are missing out on something which only they can only explain," he said.

Even Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian, in the Economic Survey, slammed global rating agencies for following "inconsistent" standards while rating India vis-a-vis China, saying they have not taken into account reform measures like GST, which is a "poor" reflection on their credibility.

Sections
Follow us on
Available On