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Substantial gains for BJP, state election results to facilitate reforms: Moody’s

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Global credit rating agency Moody’s Investor’s Service on Wednesday said the recent state election results will facilitate reforms by the BJP led Indian government.

In a statement Moody’s said the 2017 state election results demonstrate broad-based popular support for the Indian government’s policy agenda and will facilitate the implementation of further reforms, a credit positive for the sovereign.

Moody’s said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has made substantial gains in the state elections.

As a result, the party will increase its share of seats in the upper house of India’s parliament.

“The ruling party will not feel the benefit of its electoral gains immediately, because the changes in the upper house will only occur next year, when some members retire,” said William Foster, a Moody’s Vice President and Senior Credit Officer.

“Nevertheless, electoral support at the state level should translate into broader support for government policy in the upper house, facilitating the passage and implementation of additional reforms,” added Foster.

The BJP’s solid gains were despite the negative economic hit from demonetisation in late 2016, Moody’s said.

According to Moody’s in 2018, 69 seats in the upper house, including 10 from Uttar Pradesh and one from Uttarkhand, will come up for re-election.

If the BJP-led coalition increases its seat tally to or close to an outright majority, passage of policies will become easier, helping to accelerate reform.

In addition, collaboration between the central government and the new BJP-led states could improve, partially circumventing impediments to reform at the federal level on politically sensitive issues like land and labour reform.

This situation would support state-led reform momentum. For example, BJP-led states like Gujarat and Rajasthan have already amended some land and labour laws, Moody’s said.
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