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Thursday, 17 May 2012 12:03

Murli Manohar Joshi assails UPA Govt. over rupee fall against dollar

With the Indian rupee hitting a record low against the dollar, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Murli Manohar Joshi assailed the UPA Government on the issue, terming it a ''precarious'' national economic situation.

Expressing concern, Joshi blamed the fall in the value of the rupee to ''weak and deteriorating'' economic fundamentals of the Congress-led UPA Government.

"In the last eight years of the UPA-1 and UPA-2, the national economy has steadily deteriorated and is in shambles. The government''s economic fundamentals are in disarray and inherently weak. Moreover, our sovereign debt ratings are being downgraded and are getting negative ratings," Joshi told media here.

Joshi also accused the Central Government of trying to ''deliberately'' strengthen the value of dollar at the risk of affecting the Indian economy and masses.

"Could it be that our government is not taking steps to rectify the situation merely to ensure that the dollar remains strong? They want the dollar to remain strong without being concerned about the condition of Indian masses. This is a very wrong attitude. I feel that the government is more concerned about the strength of the dollar than of the rupee," he said.

 "The government is more concerned with the U.S.A and Europe than the economic situation of Indian masses. Otherwise, there is no reason why a government would remain so calm in such a scenario and not inform the masses about the reasons why such a thing is happening," he added.

Defending the government, Congress party spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury said the fall in the rupee was solely the result of the ongoing international economic crisis.

"If you see the international matrix, you would understand why the dollar is strengthening despite their economies going down. India has taken corrective steps, banks have been stepping in and the finance minister has been guiding them. It is unfortunate that such allegations are being made against the government. We do not have any interest in ensuring a strong dollar. Our commitment remains to the country first and to the Indians," she added.

The battered Indian currency, the worst performer among emerging markets since March, is poised for more weakness in the near term unless the authorities step in with specific measures, according to analysts and dealers.

Despite repeated interventions over the past sessions and a rash of other measures targeting deposits and exporters, the Reserve Bank of India has so far been unable to prevent the falls in the value of domestic currency.

The rupee slumped to a new low of 54.52 to the dollar, surpassing its previous low of 54.30 hit in mid-December. It settled at 54.51 as against Tuesday''s close of 53.79.

The rupee has fallen nearly 10 percent since its 2012 peak in February due to concerns about India''s current account and fiscal deficits. 

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