This Article is From Nov 12, 2013

Anand Sharma hits out at Goldman Sachs' report on Modi

Anand Sharma hits out at Goldman Sachs' report on Modi

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has hit out against Goldman Sachs for a report the global investment bank published earlier this week, which suggested the opposition BJP, led by its prime minister candidate Narendra Modi could prevail in parliamentary elections due by May 2014.

"I particularly feel that any agency or organization should be focused on their job, particularly, when it comes to functional democracies... We surely would not be entertaining descriptive approaches, prescriptions when it comes to Indian democracy from those who are totally disconnected," Mr Sharma told reporters on Friday.

(Read full report here)

In its report titled "Modi-fying our View," Goldman had noted that optimism over political change is trumping concerns over Indian economy.

"Current polls show Modi and the BJP as faring well in the five upcoming state elections, which are considered lead indicators for the general election next year. Even though the actual general election outcome is uncertain, the market could trade this favourably over the next 2 quarters, which argues for modifying our stance," the investment bank had said.

The minister said such reports could also be "coloured, influenced and these are most inappropriate."

Adding that his criticism of the investment bank should not be seen as a sign of exasperation, Mr Sharma said, "Would you insult 800 hundred million voters of India? Would you tell them what they are going to decide? Do we tell other countries what their voters should decide? Respect democracy and respect countries."

Goldman, which raised its rating on Indian equities to "market weight" from "underweight," did not endorse the BJP.

"Equity investors tend to view BJP as business-friendly and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi as an agent of change," Goldman's note said.

However, Mr Sharma said that India's growth story has always been very strong and the country, the government does not need this kind of daily certification or assurances.