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India facing difficult situation, says PM
Publication Date : 30-08-2013
Amid the rupee collapsing against the US dollar and the markets plunging, the crisis gripping the country's economy rocked both Houses of Parliament, with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh conceding that the country was facing a “difficult economic situation”.
In the wake of the agitated members’ uproar and vociferous demands for an immediate statement from the PM on the grave situation, especially on the rupee's free fall, Singh assured both the Houses that he will make an elaborate statement on the issue today. In a brief intervention in the Rajya Sabha (Upper Hosue), the PM, however, said there were several reasons, both domestic and international, for the prevailing economic distress.
“I do not deny that there are some domestic factors but there are also international factors arising out of changes in the US monetary stance,” he told the Upper House.
“There are also problems created by the new tensions that are on the horizon in Syria and they have inevitable consequences for oil prices. So we have to reckon with all those uncertainties,” Singh said.
The rupee's worst-ever fall yesterday, when it raced close to 69 against a dollar, and the spiralling negative sentiments across the markets cast a shadow over the pre-lunch proceedings of both the Houses.
The Lok Sabha (Lower House), especially, witnessed repeated adjournments and ruckus, with agitated members protesting against the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government's alleged bungling of the economy. They even shouted slogans and demanded the PM's immediate statement.
Opposition leaders in both Houses held that there was panic in the country over the plummeting rupee. Some of them even wondered whether the country will be forced to mortgage its gold reserves to tide over the economic crisis.
As soon as the Lok Sabha's sitting began this morning, the Leader of the opposition, Sushma Swaraj, highlighted the rupee's free fall. Swaraj said the finance minister 's 10-step prescription to defuse the economic crisis, which he presented before the House on Tuesday, failed to boost the battered confidence and sentiments of the markets and investors resulting in yesterday's rupee rout.
“The country's reputation is attached to the rupee...We want a statement from the PM, who is a renowned economist. Those having PhDs in economics are not able to handle the economy,” Swaraj said.