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India Inc. pins hope on stability

May 14, 2009

Exit poll results indicate...nothing unexpected!
Given that the last phase of elections got over yesterday, several news channels and papers are carrying results of the exit polls. The results indicate no clear majority for either the UPA or the NDA led coalitions, though the former is seen as having a slight edge over the latter. Now, before the election results are announced this Saturday (May 16th), we will be seeing the political parties draw up permutations and combinations (sophisticated terms for 'horse trading') to up their score in the Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament).

At the same time, corporate India will be praying for stability. And as per vibes emanating from India Inc., which is already reeling under the global downturn, companies would like to see a stable government led by either the Congress or the BJP. And India Inc. isn't expecting a stable government without reason. After all, the Indian economy has become a trillion dollar one after good, consistent growth in the past ten years, which has seen both the BJP and Congress-led governments complete their terms.

Where have all the people gone?
Mumbai's local trains, bus stations, and roads were mostly empty today. And we wondered why. On reaching office, we cross checked with BSE's website whether today was any scheduled holiday for the stock exchanges and banks, but were aghast to notice that the next such holiday lies straight in September! Anyways, our guess is that people must have gone on holidays given that most schools in the city have closed for the summer season.

But again we wonder! When the hotels in India are reporting low room rates and despite that, low occupancies, where are the domestic tourists staying? To save costs, probably at relatives' place? As per some media reports, occupancy levels of large hotel chains reduced to an average of 55-60% in April this year, lower than the 75-80% occupancy witnessed during the same month last year. What is more, these low occupancies were despite a 25-30% reduction in room tariffs.

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