Indian reforms face test with parliament vote

By REUTERS
December 2, 2012 23:14

 
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NEW DELHI - India's stuttering economic reform program faces a key parliamentary test this week on whether to let foreign supermarket chains such as Wal-Mart Stores set up shop, in a vote that could pave the way for further measures to revive the economy.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's minority government bowed to opposition pressure last week in agreeing to a vote, ending days of deadlock in parliament and cheering investors who saw it as a sign of a renewed policy momentum to come.

News that the government agreed to a non-binding vote helped Indian shares climb to their highest in nearly 19 months and bolstered the rupee. But defeat for the ruling Congress party could see the currency tumble to 56 to the dollar from about 54, said Abhishek Goenka, chief executive at India Forex Advisors.

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