S&P rules out India upgrade for next 2 yrs, govt hits back

S&P rules out India upgrade for next 2 yrs, govt hits back: Government tells rating agency to introspect on processes...

S&P bouncer: An eye opener
Apropos “S&P bouncer: No upgrade for 2 yrs” (Business Standard, November 3), this is a repeat of the casual approach of international rating agencies to Indian realities. Recent responses from government and other stakeholders are indicative of a braver stance which sends out a clear message that times are changing and rating agencies which take positions to safeguard the business interests and greed of their masters may not be taken seriously even by those who have been giving some respect for their professional skills. 
India is a victim of foreign domination even today when it comes to assessment of the country’s self-esteem. Our credit-worthiness, poverty level, comparative position in several other human development indicators and ability to protect against environmental hazards are all decided by outside agencies, which have no independent means to judge us other than data fed by our own agencies within the country.
It is comforting to see that a change in approach in Delhi through various initiatives including the effort to promote a new rating agency, though for limited purposes, under the aegis of BRICS.  
Now that National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog has relatively less responsibilities, it could be entrusted with the task of making existing organizations responsible for compilation of statistics and rating the country in relation to other countries with reference to different parameters factoring in purchase power parity and aggregate resources availability and institutions like banks using internationally acceptable standards. If existing organizations are irreparably incompetent, new ones should replace them fast.
 Time is opportune for India to think in terms of setting up a rating agency of international standard, which will understand the country and advice stakeholders about the health of domestic financial institutions and provide crucial input to the financial institutions and governments abroad with which India has dealings. Agencies like Standard & Poor’s (S&P) and Moody’s are doing their work within their limitation and even they would be benefited if an internationally acceptable rating agency comes into being in India. 
We have on record,  observation like the one made by the chief of International Monetary Fund (IMF) while in India (2015), to the effect that ‘when adjusting for differences in purchasing prices between economies, India’s GDP will exceed that of Japan and Germany combined. Indian output will also exceed the combined output of the three next largest emerging market economies-Russia, Brazil and Indonesia’. The major problem is, our own analysts and media project India in poor light relying on lobbying by external agencies. 
In this context, one is tempted to recall the following stanza from Gita:
“Uddharedaatmanaatmanam Naatmanamavasaadayet
Aatmaiva hyatmano Bandhuraatmaiva Ripuraatmanah”
(One should lift oneself by one’s own efforts and should not degrade oneself; for
one’s own self is one’s friend, and one’s own self is one’s enemy.)
(Bhagavadgita, 6.5)
 M G Warrier, Mumbai 



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