India won’t be affected in a big way: Mukherjee

The finance minister’s take on the S&P’s down grading of the United States:

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday described the downgrading of the US government’s credit rating from triple A to double A on Friday as a grave situation. But he said, “I am not unnecessarily worried, there is no point in pressing the panic button”. Indian industry captains, too, did not seem to be overly concerned over the situation.

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In Washington, Mukherjee courts press, as well as investors

Original post date: July 01, 2011

Weeks before Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s Washington visit to attend the India-US Financial and Economic Partnership, word leaked that he will use the opportunity to reassure investors and sell India’s growth story. (See our story here.)

Turns out those finance ministry sources were right.

During the roughly 48 hours he was in the city, besides meeting two cabinet secretaries — Treasury’s Timothy Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whom he met briefly — and attending several meetings, Mukherjee also found time to meet a number of journalists, including reporters from the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and Reuters. In all his interviews, the finance minister pretty much stuck to the script.

The Indian economy will improve in the second half of the year, he told the Journal’s Sudeep Reddy.

The country will achieve the growth target despite its “longest string of monetary tightening in a decade,” the minister told Bloomberg’s Shobhana Chandra.

Meanwhile, Mukherjee received plenty of coverage in the U.S. media, with nearly all major news outlets covering his visit. Here’s the New York Times piece. And here’s a BBC News story.

Check out a GIN commentary on the visit published in the Economic Times.

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