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Fitch Ratings in its Global Economic Outlook has revised up India’s growth forecast for current fiscal year (2018-19) to 7.8% from 7.4% projected earlier. However it has flagged tightening of financial conditions, weak bank balance sheets and rising oil bill as headwinds to growth.
Growth Projections: Fitch’s upward revision in growth forecast comes in backdrop of GDP expanding 8.2% in the April-June period, higher than its expectation of 7.7%. This robust performance was partly attributable to a powerful base effect, with GDP growth dampened in 2Q17 (April-June) by companies de-stocking ahead of rollout of goods and services tax (GST). It has however cut growth forecasts for FY 2019-2020 and FY 2020-2021 growth by 0.2 percentage points to 7.3%.
Inflation Forecast: It is also picking up to upper part of Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) target band (4%, plus-minus 2%) within forecast horizon on relatively high demand-pull pressures and rupee depreciation.
Rupee: It has been worst-performing major Asian currency so far this year. Despite RBI’s greater tolerance for currency depreciation, interest rates have been raised to higher levels, more than anticipated.
Fiscal policy: It should remain quite supportive of growth in run-up to elections likely to be held in early 2019. The investment to GDP ratio has stopped trending down, helped by ramped-up public infrastructure outlays, in particular by state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
It is one of Big Three credit rating agencies in the world, the other two being Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. Fitch Ratings is smallest of the “big three”. It is headquartered in New York (US) and completely owned by Hearst Corporation.
Credit rating agency is company that assigns credit ratings, which rate debtor’s ability to pay back debt by making timely interest payments and likelihood of default.
India along with 23 other nations will be participating in major Indian ocean-wide tsunami mock exercise known as IOWave18. The exercise is being organized by Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO. It will involve evacuation of thousands of people from coastal areas in over half a dozen states.
The purpose of the exercise is to increase tsunami preparedness, evaluate response capabilities in each state and improve coordination throughout the region. It is also aimed at enhancing tsunami preparedness at the community level. The exercise will simulate Indian Ocean countries being put in tsunami warning situation and require National Tsunami Warning Centre (NTWC) i.e. National and Local Disaster Management Offices (NDMO/LDMO) to implement and test their communication links and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) at all levels of warning chain. In this exercises, Hyderabad based Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) will be nodal participating agency. It will be involved in evacuation of more than 1,25,000 people from coastal communities of Odisha, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat, and Goa in this simulated tsunami warning situation.
IOC, the only UN body specialized in ocean science and services had coordinated in setting up of Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWMS) in the aftermath of December 26, 2004 tsunami. Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC), based out of Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad. It is autonomous institution under Union Ministry of Earth Sciences. The state-of-the-art warning centre is operational since October 2007. It has all necessary computational and communication infrastructure for reception of real-time data from seismic and sea-level networks, tsunami modelling, as well as generation and dissemination of tsunami bulletins for entire Indian Ocean region (IOR).
Tags: Disaster Management • Exercises • India • Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services • Indian Ocean • Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission • International • IOWave18 • Tsunami mock exercise • UNESCO • United Nations