PM concedes country facing difficult economic situation
New Delhi: Under attack in Parliament over the sliding rupee, Prime Minster Manmohan Singh on Thursday conceded that the country was facing a "difficult" economic situation and has to reckon with the uncertainties created by global factors like tensions in Syria.
The falling rupee cast its shadow over Parliament with opposition saying there was panic in the country over the sliding rupee and creating uproar.
The Lok Sabha witnessed repeated adjournments amid Opposition demands for an immediate statement from the Prime Minister while the issue created uproar in the Rajya Sabha for some time. Left and AIADMK members even trooped into the Well in the Lok Sabha.
"It cannot be denied that the country is faced with a difficult economic situation," the Prime Minister said in the Rajya Sabha in impromptu remarks.
"There are several causes (for the economic woes). I do not deny some domestic factors too are responsible," he said, listing some external factors that have impacted rupee and Indian economy, like the US monetary stance and problems created by tensions in Syria and its "inevitable consequences on oil prices."
"We have to reckon with these uncertainties," Singh said, adding he needed "sometime to reflect" on them. "I would be happy to make a statement tomorrow," he added.
As soon as Rajya Sabha met for the day, Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley raised the issue of depleting value of the rupee, which has fallen 20 per cent against the US dollar this year and already breached 68 mark and said there was "panic" as people did not know at what level the devaluation would stop.
Inflationary pressure would be twice as the rising food prices, coupled with imported inflation in the form of rising oil prices in the global market, would lead to a serious situation, he said.
"It is a panic situation… we want to know from the Prime Minister what he has in his mind for reviving the situation. In a democracy, the buck stops at the Prime Minister and not disappear," he said, adding, "Prime Minister must take the House and the country into confidence".