Fitch 'warns' India to implement reforms or face rating downgrade
"Public commitments and policy announcements by the Indian government so far in 2013 are encouraging signals that the authorities want to maintain the momentum towards fiscal consolidation and structural reform generated since last summer," the agency said in a note.
"Recent data show that the authorities have made some progress in capping the fiscal deficit at 5.3 per cent of GDP as a small surplus was recorded in December," it said.
Commenting on its outlook, the note said, "Policy execution and the impact on growth trend will remain key to our ratings assessment."
Fitch had downgraded its outlook on the country's 'BBB-'rating to negative in June 2012 on concerns over growth and inaction on the reforms front.
In early January, it had said the government was likely to miss its fiscal deficit target for FY13 and the country faced the risk of a downgrade in 12-24 months.
Fitch warned that given the country's record on policy implementation and the General Elections scheduled in 2014 "the political and implementation risk remain significant".
"India's patchy performance on policy implementation, and the approach of elections in 2014 could impede fiscal consolidation, suggesting political and implementation risk remain significant," it said.
Fitch said the budget for FY14 will be an important gauge to determine the government's resolve and commitment to the process of fiscal consolidation.
"However, it (the budget) is not the sole rating driver. A credible medium-term fiscal
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