Congress takes on PM Modi for the rupee’s sliding value
“In a year, the government has invested more than $96 billion in strengthening the rupee, but this could not happen due to the shortcomings in the economy,” Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said
Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate on Tuesday said that PM Narendra Modi, who once said that the fall of the Indian rupee’s value was directly linked to the fall of the PM’s credibility, must realise that his own credibility was in a bottomless pit.
“Exactly a year ago, in September 2021, the value of the rupee was 73 against 1 dollar, which has now increased to 81.63 – simply put, the Prime Minister's reputation has fallen by more than 12 per cent in 12 months,” she said while addressing a press conference in the national capital.
“On May 26, 2014, when Modi ji took oath as PM for the first time, the value of rupee against $1 was 58.62, which means that it has crashed by 41.5 per cent during his tenure,” she added.
“India's foreign exchange reserves, which exactly a year ago were at $642 billion in September 2021, now stands at $545.65 billion. Not only this, just a month ago, the country's foreign exchange reserves were $571 billion, which has now fallen to $545 billion. That is, a decline of $26 billion in 1 single month,” Shrinate said.
“Weakening of the rupee means rising cost of imports. For example, if something came from abroad for $1 dollar, then in September 2021, we were paying Rs 73, for which now we will now pay Rs 82, that is Rs 9 more. For example, India imports 80 per cent of crude oil, now will now be imported by India at a higher price,” she said.
“If oil is expensive, inflation will increase. After all, if most of the goods (fruits, vegetables, food grains, and other things) are transported by diesel trucks, then its cost will increase. Because of this, things will be expensive,” she added.
“When inflation increases, RBI will increase the interest rate to control it. In such a situation, the EMI (installments) of the loan will increase and people will have to pay more money,” she pointed out.
“The Modi government has failed to stabilise the rupee despite pumping in precious forex reserve. India's foreign exchange reserves stood at $642 billion in September 2021, they have dipped to $545.65 billion now. But the real story is that just a month ago, the country's foreign exchange reserves were $571 billion, which has now come down to $ 545.5 billion. That’s a drop of a whopping $26 billion in just one month,” Shrinate said.
“In a year, the government has invested more than $96 billion in strengthening the rupee – but this could not happen due to the shortcomings in the economy,” she said.
“Due to the failed policies of the Modi government, the confidence of investors has been shaken in the market. A completely disrupted cycle of consumption, investment and employment saddled with high prices is weakening the rupee further. That’s why foreign funds are fleeing India,” she added.
“In August, imports grew by 37 per cent to $61.9 billion, while the exports grew by only 1.5 per cent to $33 billion. Trade deficit widened nearly two-and-a-half times to about $28.7 billion in August, which will further weaken the rupee,” she said.
Shrinate said that in 2013 too, the rupee’s value had fallen, but the UPA government dealt with the issue effectively.
“Tools of mass distraction are being used to shift focus from the real issue. It is repeatedly pointed out that the rupee fell in 2013 too. Yes it did, but the reality is that in 2013, the international reasons were even more frightening – Taper tantrum made the rupee weak – and then the Congress government strengthened it,” she said.
“In June 2013, when foreign investors started leaving the country due to taper tantrum, the rupee fell 15 per cent from 58/$ to 69/$ between May and August. But the then PM Dr. Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister P Chidambaram and then RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan together took care of the rupee – not only did we bring it back to 58/$ within 4 months, but within 1 year we increased the GDP growth from 5.1 per cent to 6.9 per cent. Also, $35 billion worth of foreign funds were pulled back into India versus the $12 that had fled,” she said.
“Before becoming the Prime Minister, Modi ji used to say that the credibility of the Prime Minister of the country falls with the rupee and when he became PM, he would bring the rupee to 40 against a dollar. The weakening of the rupee is a sign of weakening of you and the country. The only request to Modi ji is to stop the rupee from scoring a century!” she quipped.