India pushed ahead with efforts to get a BRICS credit rating agency set up at the summit today as a counter western rating institutions but faced lack of consensus over the move which they now said will be explored by experts. Some member countries of the five emerging economies appeared to have voiced "concerns" over the "credibility" and access to "dependable data" for the new entity to take on the Wall Street-based Big 3 run on commercial principles. "We welcome experts exploring the possibility of setting up an independent BRICS Rating Agency based on market-oriented principles, in order to further strengthen the global governance architecture," the Goa Declaration of the five-nation summit said. However, the Goa Action Plan noted the proposed Rating Agency as one of the key initiatives taken under India's chairmanship of the grouping. "The leaders were mainly convinced but we couldn't sign the agreement right now because there is a sense that experts need to look at it more closely," Economic Relations Secretary Amar Sinha told reporters here after the Eighth BRICS Summit. He said because of the lack of consensus, the item has been included under the "action plan" and not in the Goa Declaration. Elaborating on the concerns, he said, "Every credit rating agency has to have credibility and access to absolutely dependable data.
These two things the experts have to look at now." Sinha, however, said this is not a setback, pointing out to the other items on the economic cooperation front like agri research and customs cooperation saw consensus. The proposed credit rating agency also found a mention in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's closing remarks. "To further bridge the gap in the global financial architecture, we agreed to fast track the setting up of a BRICS Rating Agency," he said in the joint declaration. India had first mooted the idea of having such an agency for the BRICS grouping which can solve impediments for the emerging market economies posed by the present CRA market, which is dominated by S&P, Moody's and Fitch, all based in Wall Street and being run with pure commercial considerations. These three hold over 90 per cent of the sovereign ratings market now. Indian officials were at the forefront of pointing out to the shortcomings and the need to have an alternative CRA in the days leading to the Goa summit and during deliberations at the conclave here over the weekend.
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