Britain votes on EU today, frayed nerves in India
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.