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Oil price biggest risk for Indian economy: Moody’s survey

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Mumbai, July 4: A majority of Indian and foreign investors consider that high oil prices have emerged as a significant risk to the country’s economy, Moody’s Investors Service said on Wednesday.

The US rating agency’s report is based on a survey of 175 respondents, including from over 100 financial institutions at the annual India Credit Conference in Mumbai and Singapore held in June.

Investors were asked questions on issues like top risks facing the Indian economy, fiscal deficit, the recapitalizsation package for public sector banks and credit conditions for Indian corporates among others.

“Most of the respondents highlighted high oil prices as the top risk while 30.3 per cent of those in Singapore picked rising interest rates as the next top risk and 23.1 per cent of those in Mumbai picked domestic political risks as the second top risk,” Moody’s Vice President Joy Rankothge said in the report.

Most respondents said they believed India would not meet the central government’s fiscal deficit target of 3.3 per cent of GDP for the current fiscal.

While only 23.3 per cent of the investors in Singapore and 13.6 per cent in Mumbai felt that the fiscal targets would be achieved, 84.7 per cent in Mumbai and 76.7 per cent in Singapore expected some fiscal slippage.

On the government’s bank recapitalisation plan, 85.7 per cent in Singapore and 93.6 per cent in Mumbai thought that it was insufficient to resolve the non-performing assets (NPA), or banks’ bad loans, challenges.

In this connection, while 59.6 per cent of the attendees in Mumbai thought that banks will be unable to raise capital from the markets, 32.1 per cent in Singapore felt the same way.

Respondents in both locations said funding conditions will be one of the top factors driving the outlook for non-financial corporates – 38 per cent in Mumbai and 34.6 per cent in Singapore.

According to the report, 28 per cent of respondents in Mumbai selected the resumption of capital investment as the second key factor affecting credit outlook while only 11.5 per cent felt this way in Singapore.

In contrast, 26.9 per cent of the Singapore attendees selected government policy and reforms as the second most important factor affecting the credit outlook, compared with 22 per cent in Mumbai.

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Modi creating a Hindu nationalist state: Billionaire philanthropist George Soros

Billionaire philanthropist George Soros slams Modi govt at World Economic Forum in Davos

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Hungarian-born US investor and philanthropist George Soros delivering a speech on the sideline of the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday. He criticised China’s hi-tech surveillance regime. Photo: AFP

New Delhi, Jan 25 : American billionaire philanthropist George Soros said on Friday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is creating a Hindu nationalist state.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) retreat in Davos, Switzerland, Soros said the biggest and most frightening setback in India came from nationalism.

“Nationalism, far from being reversed, made further headway. The biggest and most frightening setback occurred in India where a democratically elected Narendra Modi is creating a Hindu nationalist state, imposing punitive measures on Kashmir, a semi-autonomous Muslim region, and threatening to deprive millions of Muslims of their citizenship,” Soros said.

Soros was unsparing on US President Donald Trump as well. “President Trump is a con man and the ultimate narcissist who wants the world to revolve around him. When his fantasy of becoming President came true, his narcissism developed a pathological dimension. Indeed, he has transgressed the limits imposed on the presidency by the Constitution and has been impeached for it,” he said.

On the US economy, Soros said, “President Trump’s economic team is overheating the economy. An overheated economy can’t be kept boiling for too long,” he said, adding: “If all this had happened closer to the elections, it would have assured his re-election. His problem is that the elections are still 10 months away and in a revolutionary situation, that is a lifetime.”

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Release political detainees on R-Day: Ex-J&K minister Mir

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omar mehbooba

Jammu, Jan 23 Senior Jammu and Kashmir leader Ghulam Hassan Mir who was a part of the group led by Altaf Bukhari that met Lt. Governor G.C. Murmu earlier this month for presenting a set of measures to restore political activity in J&K, said much progress has been made since the meeting took place.

Speaking at a press conference in Jammu on Thursday, the former Minister said many political detainees and youth jailed outside Kashmir have been released.

“These are all positive developments since our meeting with the L-G,” Mir said.

He demanded the release of prisoners including three former chief ministers on Republic Day.

“This will be a goodwill gesture,” Mir said.

He said all those youth who have been detained in jails in other states must be shifted to Jammu and Kashmir.

On the issue of restoration of the Internet, he said although 2G Internet has been restored at some places but this is not enough. “Internet must be fully restored,” Mir said.

He said that the demand for restoration of the Internet is equally strong in Jammu as well as Kashmir.

He said the media is worst-affected by the Internet gag. “Government should restore broadband Internet for the media persons.”

He demanded domicile rights for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and allaying their fears about job losses post abrogation of Article 370.

Mir said the government should compensate for the losses suffered by the agriculture and horticulture sectors.

He was flanked by former PDP minister Dilawar Mir who was among the eight leaders expelled by the PDP after meeting the Lt. Governor and the delegation of foreign ambassadors.

Dilawar Mir said that he continues to be a member of the PDP and only party president Mehbooba Mufti who is under detention has the power to expel him.

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Punjab CM asks Akalis to quit BJP alliance on CAA

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Chandigarh, Jan 21 : Ridiculing SAD’s claim that it had chosen not to contest the Delhi assembly polls due to differences with the BJP over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday challenged the Akalis to quit the alliance at the Centre to prove their sincerity with regard to the legislation.

“Why don’t you (Akalis) walk the talk and show the people of India that you really stand against the divisive and destructive CAA?” asked the Chief Minister, urging the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) minister in the Union Cabinet, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, to immediately resign in support of the stated stand on the controversial legislation.

“If you found the CAA to be anti-Muslim, why did you support and pass the legislation in the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha?” Amarinder Singh asked the Akalis, adding that the vociferous support extended by the SAD to the legislation in Parliament was a matter of record.

Pointing out that Delhi was the second state, after Haryana, where the SAD had decided not to go with their ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Chief Minister said their claim that they had decided against contesting the Delhi polls on account of differences on the CAA was unacceptable.

The decision to opt out of the Delhi elections was clearly motivated by political compulsions as the SAD had evidently realised it had no ground support and could not win even a single seat in the national capital, he added.

Or perhaps, the BJP was not ready to give them what they wanted in terms of seats, prompting them to look for a graceful way out of the situation, he said.

Taking a dig at the SAD leadership, including party chief Sukhbir Badal and Union minister Harsimrat Badal, over their spate of contradictory and conflicting statements on CAA, the Chief Minister said the Akalis did not have a principled stand on this major issue of national importance.

Manjinder Singh Sirsa’s claim that the party had been under pressure to review its stand on the CAA was ludicrous, to say the least, considering the discordant notes the Akalis had been striking on the issue for the past several days, he added.

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