Monsoon fears misplaced, foreign investors’ interest not lost: Jaitley

New Delhi, June 4 (IANS) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said that the foreign investors have not lost interest in India and the concerns over forecast of weak monsoon are “misplaced”.

Addressing a press conference on the finance ministry’s preparedness to deal with a weak monsoon, Jaitley said: “I don’t think they (foreign investors) have lost interest in India. The economy is improving and there is more stability than before.”

“As far as the markets are concerned, it’s a day-to-day trend and that it will not last. The economy is improving and the government’s disinvestment plans are also on track,” he added.

“The kind of speculation that we have been seeing and the speculative analysis that we have been reading about (monsoon) appears to be somewhat misplaced,” Jaitley said.

It was officially forecast that there will a 12 percent deficit in monsoon rain this season.

“If there are poor rains, in agriculture sector there would obviously be some losses,” Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said at a press conference earlier.

“But we have the confidence — policies in place — to ensure there is minimum damage to the agriculture sector and economy,” added Singh, whose ministry normally overseas the overall, nation-wide contingency plan during deficit monsoon.

The Indian equities markets are on a downslide since Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan a couple of days back said below-normal monsoons posed biggest risk to the economy.

Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan said Tuesday that rain during this monsoon was likely to be below normal-to-deficient at 88 percent — plus or minus four percent — of the average rainfall.


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