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Fitch action based on older data: FM

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday rejected Fitch downgrade of India's credit outlook to negative saying the rating agency's action was based on "older data" as it ignored recent positive trends.

twitter-logoPTI | June 18, 2012 | Updated 23:36 IST

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday rejected Fitch downgrade of India's credit outlook to negative saying the rating agency's action was based on "older data" as it ignored recent positive trends.

"While the markets had already anticipated that Fitch would revise the outlook and so there is no surprise in the announcement, it must be pointed out that Fitch has primarily relied on older data, and has ignored the recent positive trends in the Indian economy ," Mukherjee said in a statement.

Fitch on Monday lowered India's credit rating outlook to negative from stable, less than three months after rival Standard and Poor's did a similar downgrade. It cited corruption, inadequate reforms, high inflation and slow growth as reasons for the revision.
Mukherjee said that Fitch has not taken note of many of the government's recent initiatives including fertiliser subsidy reform, capping subsidies as a fraction of GDP, new manufacturing and telecom policies.

According to Mukherjee, the concerns expressed by the rating agency on the economic growth potential, inflationary pressures and weak public finances have already been "taken note of" by the government.

In its report, Fitch said that India faces an "awkward combination" of slow growth and elevated inflation. Further, the country is also facing "structural challenges surrounding its investment climate in the form of corruption and inadequate economic reforms", it added.

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