Bri­tain votes on EU to­day, frayed nerves in In­dia

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Pra­sun Son­walkar let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com HT Cor­re­spon­dent ht­metro@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Fran­tic last­minute cam­paign­ing set the stage for a ref­er­en­dum on Bri­tain’s fu­ture in the Euro­pean Union on Thurs­day, as In­dian pol­i­cy­mak­ers moved to re­as­sure cur­rency and eq­uity mar­kets wor­ried about the vote’s eco­nomic fall­out.

At stake is not only the fu­ture of the post-World War II Euro­pean Union project, but also a vote with ma­jor im­pli­ca­tions for the global fi­nan­cial sys­tem, given London’s pre-em­i­nent po­si­tion, and a se­ries of knock-on ef­fects at var­i­ous lev­els, in­clud­ing the fu­ture of the David Cameron gov­ern­ment. It could also spark de­mands for an­other ref­er­en­dum on whether Scot­land would re­main in Bri­tain.

The re­sult of the ref­er­en­dum will be known in In­dia by mid­day Fri­day.

As mar­kets and cor­po­rate board­rooms around the globe kept a ner­vous watch on de­vel­op­ments in Bri­tain, the Re­serve Bank of In­dia (RBI) said it will keep the fund tap flow­ing in case the fi­nal out­come leads to co­pi­ous out­flow of cap­i­tal from In­dian mar­kets.

Fac­ing flak for ig­nor­ing the plight of lakhs of sub­ur­ban rail­way com­muters, rail­way min­is­ter Suresh Prabhu or­dered a time-bound probe into the rail­way dis­rup­tion in Mum­bai on Mon­day and Tues­day. He sent a team of rail­way board of­fi­cers to re­view the prepa­ra­tions for the monsoon on Wed­nes­day.

Even as 350 sub­ur­ban ser­vices were can­celled and 600 de­layed on two con­sec­u­tive days, Prabhu, who is ac­tive on so­cial me­dia, kept tweet­ing about In­ter­na­tional Yoga day and other is­sues, an­ger­ing com­muters fur­ther. Prabhu, through a se­ries of tweets, said he took the dis­rup­tion “very se­ri­ously”. “We will ex­plore not only rea­sons of dis­rup­tion, but also fo­cus on re­me­dial mea­sures and act swiftly,” Prabhu tweeted.

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