India confident of passing reform bills: Finance minister
NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - The Indian government said on Wednesday that it was still able to pass reform legislation in parliament, a day after its biggest ally abruptly quit the ruling coalition, but ministers did not answer questions on whether it would call a snap election.
The withdrawal of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has rattled markets, who are worried that it has left Prime Minister Manmohan Singh unable to pass reforms needed to turn around the country's worst economic slowdown in a decade.
The government is looking to pass a slew of bills in the current session of parliament to restore investor confidence and stave off a ratings downgrade, including opening India's insurance and pension sectors to foreign investors, and making land acquisition easier for industry.
The DMK pullout has fired speculation that the government, which is in a minority in parliament and relies on the support of powerful regional parties to stay in power, could call early elections, possibly as early as November.