India needs to improve fiscal deficit for ratings upgrade - S&P analyst | Reuters - Firstpost
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India needs to improve fiscal deficit for ratings upgrade - S&P analyst | Reuters

Updated: Mar 1, 2016 00:45 IST

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MUMBAI India needs to lower its debt to GDP ratio and materially lower its fiscal deficit for a ratings upgrade, Kyran Curry, S&P director, sovereign ratings in Asia, told Reuters after the federal budget was announced earlier on Monday.

The country's debt to GDP ratio falling to below 60 percent would bring a "clear upside" to the sovereign ratings, Curry said. It currently stands at 67 percent.

"We will really be looking for material gains in the government stabilising its fiscal position. So that basically means a lower fiscal deficit and material falls in its debt stock and we are not seeing that in this budget," Curry told Reuters over phone from Singapore.

"We are just seeing continuing a very, very slow pace in its (government's) consolidation path. And that if anything, delays a ratings rise," Curry added.

S&P retained its sovereign rating on India at BBB-minus with a "stable" outlook saying a ratings upgrade was unlikely until next year, in a statement issued earlier today.

However, the next ratings move for India's sovereign credit profile would be upward, Curry said.

Despite hefty commitments on rural welfare and health, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley managed to stick to his fiscal deficit target of 3.5 percent of gross domestic product for the 2016/17 fiscal year that starts on April 1.

(Reporting by Neha Dasgupta; Editing by Anand Basu)

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