So-called strong PM has made rupee weakest in history, but Modi govt still in denial: Congress

‘Thanks to PM Modi’s economic mismanagement and failure to control the ruined economy, Indian rupee has crossed 80 against the US dollar mark,” Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said

Indian National Congress flag
Indian National Congress flag

NH Web Desk

The Congress tore into the Modi govt on Friday for its flawed economic policies which it said had led to a situation where the value of the Indian rupee has fallen to 80 against the US dollar mark, with a spokesperson recalling that before assuming the PM’s position in 2014, Narendra Modi was habitual of mocking the UPA govt on this very issue.

“For the first time ever, thanks to Modiji’s economic mismanagement and failure to control the ruined Indian economy, Indian rupee has crossed 80 against the US dollar mark. This is the same rupee that Modi himself used to claim to be associated with the Prime Minister's prestige. But today the lurking suspicion aroused by the free fall of the rupee is whether Mr Modi is preparing to hit a century with our currency too just like he has done with petrol,” Supriya Shrinate said in a press conference held in New Delhi

She recalled a few statements made by Modi before 2014:

‘The currency of a country falls where the govt is immoral and corrupt.’

‘I sometimes wonder there is a race between the Central govt and the falling rupee. Who will stoop lower?’

‘The prestige of the PM is attached to the falling rupee. The lower it falls, the more credibility and dignity of the prime minister is eroded.’

“These are not our words. These are the colossal jumalas of BJP’s PM candidate, Narendra Modi, pre-2014. I wonder what he has to say on his own statements today,” she said.

“Before 2014, Mr Modi falsely claimed that a ‘strong PM’ is necessary for the strengthening of the rupee, but he has proven to be most toxic and harmful for the currency. This so-called strong PM made the rupee weakest in history. Rupee has depreciated more than 7% in the last 6 months. But for how long will the Prime Minister keep hiding behind excuses like Corona, Russia and Ukraine? Because this is the same rupee whose value was only 58 against 1 dollar in 2014 and in the last 8 years it first breached the age of retirement, then went to Marg Darshak Mandal and has now crossed 80 – a fall of 22 rupees against 1 dollar in 8 years! Mr Modi think about your eroding dignity and credibility - your words, not ours!” Shrinate said.

Weak rupee will further fuel prices

“But what will be the effect of this continuously falling rupee on you? Firstly, backbreaking inflation will increase even more rapidly. Prices of essential commodities will increase – petrol, diesel, cooking gas prices will increase further. Due to the cost of oil, the cost of movement – trains, bus fare will increase. Its direct effect will also be visible on your plate as well since the prices of cooking oil will increase. TV, refrigerator, mobile phones will be costlier due to the falling rupee. May be the FM will now claim she doesn’t use the rupee either!” Shrinate said.

There are those falsely citing the international conditions to defend the free fall in the currency. And so, it’s important to asset here how well the Congress managed the currency during the taper tantrum of 2013. In May-June of 2013, when foreign investors started leaving the country due to the taper tantrum, the rupee had fallen by 15% from 58/$ to 69/$ between May and August. But the UPA government and the then RBI governor Raghuram Rajan together handled the rupee with a multipronged approach – they not only brought the rupee back to 58/$ within 4 months, but also increased the GDP growth from 5.1% to 6.9% within a year. Not only this, against the foreign investment of $12 billion that had left the country, foreign investment worth $ 35 billion came back to India in the same year itself,” she added.

From January till today, RBI has tried to strengthen the rupee by spending about 40 billion dollars – so why has it failed? Because investors do not have even the slightest faith in the policies of the government,” she said.

One thing is clear, PM and his army of sycophants who used to talk big on the rupee are now conspicuously silent as it breaches 80 to a dollar mark. But this pin drop silence will not be accepted. Quite evidently, the biggest reason for this free fall of the rupee is the failed economy and unbridled inflation. The government, as always, seems directionless. Modi is toxic and harmful for the rupee,” Shrinate added.

‘Wake up and smell the coffee’

The first and the immediate step that has to be taken by the government is, to accept that the rupee is in a free fall, to wake up and smell the coffee, the rupee has crossed Rs. 80 a dollar mark. It is a huge-huge breach of the rupee. It is making life tough for the children who study overseas. It is making life tough for our domestic audience, our domestic Industries. It is going to make life tough for every Indian because it is going to raise prices further. So first admit that the rupee is in a free fall,” she said.

“Look for the reasons, why this is happening. Prima facie, high inflation and a ruined economy is one of the reasons. What is the government doing to address high inflation, which is a vicious cycle. The cost of the rupee, the higher the inflation rate, feeds into the rupee, breaching and stooping even lower. What is the government’s game plan? The government seems to be in denial. We just heard the Finance Minister say that we are watching and it is alright. How many reasons are you going to find to hide behind? You want to hide behind Corona, now you want to hide behind a global crisis, thirdly, you want to hide behind Russia Ukraine, but please learn from lessons of the past,” Shrinate said.

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