Wall Street investor conference calls are analysing Indian politics

India’s much-talked about Parliamentary elections due in April are being increasingly viewed in the US as one of most important elections since the country's Independence.

In order to keep abreast of developments in India a cross-section of people from across America are dialing into a unique conference call that discusses these issues every week, said the US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC), a bipartisan organisation that works to impact policy on issues of concern to the Indian-American community in the US.

It is running a series of weekly conference calls with noted analysts from India, who provide their expert opinion to American callers.

According to USINPAC, most callers have more than a passing interest in India. "They want to get expert opinion on the election trends in India, or to understand the economic policies of various political parties, or to evaluate the investment environment in India post-elections. Participants across nine cities, including leaders of the Indian-American community, policy-makers at Capitol Hill, investment bankers and investors from Wall Street, along with technology entrepreneurs and academicians, connected through the calls,” the committee said.

The discussion points during the calls have touched upon subjects such as the possible outcomes of the elections, impact on trade and investment in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, energy, aviation, IT, the status of the Civil Liability Bill and a possible shift in India’s foreign policy.

Experts including Dr Jagdeep Chhokar, founder member of the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a non-profit organisation that is working for Government and electoral change in India, and Dr Anupam Srivastva, Managing Director, Invest India, have participated in the conference calls.

“There is significant interest in the US about the upcoming elections in India. Policy-makers, businesses, and investors want to evaluate the developments. Major policy and business decisions would depend on the outcome of these elections. Through this initiative we aim to provide a better understanding of India to our US members so that bilateral relations which are seeing a rocky present, have a cooperative future," said Sanjay Puri, Chairman, USINPAC.

USINPAC plans to conduct these calls till May 16.

“In an age when we all live with information overload, key decision-makers want a quick, crisp, and high-quality analysis from the real situation on-ground. The financial community on Wall Street is long used to such analyst calls that help them to forecast or price company stocks. We are doing something similar, but with a big difference - our callers are interested in a country, not a company stock,” Puri added.

(This article was published on March 26, 2014)
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