New Delhi: Opposition parties on Sunday slammed Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s remark that rupee has not weakened but it is the dollar that has strengthened, saying she cannot hide the failure of her government in handling the economy.
The ruling BJP defended the finance minister’s statement, noting that the dollar has appreciated against most currencies. It also said that if rupee depreciates against all currencies “like it happened during UPA in 2013”, it is called rupee getting weaker , which is not the case now.
The Congress alleged that the people were paying the price for the government’s “incompetence and wrong policies”.
For how long will RSS-BJP work to weaken India by misleading the public from reality? Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said.
Referring to India being ranked 107 out of 121 countries in the Global Hunger Index 2022, Gandhi tweeted: Now the Prime Minister and his ministers will say, ‘Hunger is not increasing in India, but people are not feeling hungry in other countries’.
Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said only the finance minister can explain the meaning of this new theory and alleged that the government’s efforts to strengthen the rupee in the last 11 months have not succeeded as foreign investors do not have faith in its policies.
The rupee is now at the cusp of crossing 83 against 1 USD and it seems Prime Minister Narendra Modi “will only stop after it crosses 100”, she said.
Shrinate pointed out that 86 percent of India’s trade is in American dollars so when the rupee weakens it affects the India’s economy, trade and import.
“But the finance minister is not bothered, she has come up with a new theory… Weakening rupee increases prices…Rupee is not weakening and unemployment is not there, there is no price rise, all this is being said while the people grapple with these issues,” Shrinate said.
Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh also hit out at the finance minister and asserted that the weakening of the rupee will further push up prices.
“Till when we will have to pay the price for your (the government’s) wrong policies and incompetence,” he said.
In a statement, NCP spokesperson Clyde Crasto said the absurd statement by Sitharaman will not hide the failure of her government in taking care of our country’s economy”.
“She must concentrate more on looking after her ministry and focus less on trying to win Lok Sabha constituencies for the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2024. She must not forget that she is the finance minister and her duty is to safeguard the economy of India first, he said.
Sitharaman had recently spent three days in Baramati as part of the BJP plan to expand base in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Baramati is the home turf of NCP chief Sharad Pawar and the Lok Sabha seat is currently represented by his daughter Supriya Sule.
Aam Aadmi Party’s Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha also took a swipe at the finance minister.
My economics isn’t weak, yours is stronger, he tweeted while sharing a video of Sitharaman.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra defended the minister’s remarks.
When rupee gets weaker against all currencies like it happened during UPA in 2013, it is called Rupee getting weaker , he tweeted.
When most of the currencies are depreciating against dollar due to fed rate hikes is called dollar getting stronger that’s what happening right now, it should also be noted that rupee has appreciated against most of the currencies therefore it shouldn’t be called as rupee getting weaker, he said in another tweet.
Speaking with reporters after attending the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in the US, Sitharaman said that the rupee has not weakened but it is the dollar that has strengthened, as she defended the 8 percent slide in the value of Indian currency against the greenback this year.
She asserted that the fundamentals of the Indian economy were strong and that inflation was low compared to other parts of the world.