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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

India not a prime candidate for rating downgrade: Basu

PTI  New Delhi, December 14, 2012
First Published: 22:23 IST(14/12/2012) | Last Updated: 22:25 IST(14/12/2012)

The country is not a candidate for downgrade by global rating agencies particularly after the recent economic reforms, World Bank chief economist Kaushik Basu said on Friday.

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"India by no means is a prime candidate for downgrading in terms of rating. So especially, with these reforms now in picture India is not in a category to begin worry about downgrading," Basu told reporters on the sidelines of Delhi Economic Conclave in New Delhi.

Basu served as the chief economic advisor (CEA) to the Government of India at the ministry of finance from December 2009 to July 2012.

Standard & Poor's earlier this week had said the country faces "one-in-three" chance of rating downgrade in the next two years in case the government fails to push reforms in view of the political gridlock and ensuing general election in 2014.

"The negative outlook signals at least a one-in-three likelihood of a downgrade within the next 24 months. A downgrade is likely if India's economic growth prospects dim, its external position deteriorates, its political climate worsens, or fiscal reforms slow," S&P said.

The problems being faced by the economy include soaring fiscal deficit and high inflation, S&P had said while retaining the country's rating at 'BBB-', lowest in the investment grade.

Meanwhile, finance minister P Chidambaram has said the government is committed to get back to the path of fiscal consolidation and to avoid downgrading by various rating agencies.

"If we do not succeed in fiscal consolidation, there is a risk of rating downgrade to junk status. We cannot afford that," he said in Parliament today.

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