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Slowdown hit Commonwealth Games preparedness: Moody’s


New Delhi : The global financial crisis and its impact on India may be the reason for the delay in getting the infrastructure in place for the Commonwealth Games scheduled here next October, says the research arm of global rating agency Moody’s.

“India hosts the 2010 Commonwealth Games, but its preparation has been slower than desired. Although the event is only a year away, construction of some venues is still incomplete,” said Sherman Chan, economist with Moody’s Economy.com.

“The global economic turmoil may have taken a toll on India’s preparation.”

The organisation, nevertheless, maintained that if India took advantage of the upcoming opportunity to showcase its recent development and the future growth potential to the world, then hosting the event may help it generate interest from foreign investors.

“The Commonwealth Games are likely to give India’s tourism a further boost to directly benefit the hospitality and retail sectors,” it said, adding a surge in visitors should increase food demand and lift the farm sector.

The organisation felt that the country’s policymakers may have put on hold expenditure for some infrastructure improvement projects that may have led to funding constraints for the facilities of the upcoming games.

“The need for fiscal stimulus to revive an economy battered by external weakness may have prompted a reallocation of funding from non-urgent infrastructure development to areas crucial in sustaining social stability,” it said.

As per Moody’s, drought now has further complicated policymaking and put social spending on the top of the priority list over the need to enhance the appeal of capital city even when the games present an opportunity to attract investors and tourists.

“But the timing of the event certainly helps India in maximizing the gains from playing host.”

The remarks by Moody’s come a week after Commonwealth Games Federation chief Michael Fennell aired his scepticism over India’s ability to host the games, even seeking an appointment with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to apprise him of the situation.