Arvind Mayaram meets Fitch officials, pitches for upgrade in ratings

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SummaryRepresentatives from global ratings agency Fitch met finance ministry officials on Monday...

Representatives from global ratings agency Fitch met finance ministry officials on Monday and raised concerns over India's fiscal deficit and quality of expenditure cuts initiated in order to meet the target, government sources said.

The sources added that North Block officials, led by economic affairs secretary Arvind Mayaram and joint secretary (budget) Rajat Bhargava, allayed Fitch's fears about the fiscal deficit and also pitched for a ratings upgrade.

“Ministry officials allayed concerns raised by Fitch on the fiscal deficit front and reiterated the commitment to contain it at 4.8% of the GDP,” an official said.

Sources said officials also expressed confidence that the current account deficit (CAD) will be brought down to $50 billion or less than 2.5% of the GDP in the current fiscal as curbs on gold imports are reaping results and the currency is holding steady.

"I think they (representatives of Fitch) expressed satisfaction on the overall macroeconomic situation. In fact, they also assessed that from the last time they had come, the situation now is much better," Mayaram told reporters after the meeting.

"They have some concerns on the banks' non-performing assets (NPAs), which we explained is also a matter of concern to us.

"However, the NPAs, as assessed today, are not anywhere above the benchmark and therefore it is not something where there is certainly a red light would be," Mayaram added.

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