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Finance Minister puts up government defence on price rise


NEW DELHI: For a second day in a row, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman countered the Opposition’s remarks on price rise. During the question hour in Rajya Sabha, she reiterated that the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) is making efforts to address volatility in the currency and the inflation is still under control at 7 per cent unlike the UPA regime when it touched double digits.

“Nobody is in denial of the price rise issue...We are at 7% with efforts. The Government and RBI are making efforts so that it can be brought below 6%,” Sitharaman said. She also said blaming the government that it works for only for Adanis and Ambanis is a complete politicisation of the debate about upliftment of the poor people.

“We are trying to reach out to every poor of this country in this recovery process post Covid pandemic. Macroeconomic fundamentals of the country are strong,” Sitharaman added. Citing Bangladesh and Pakistan examples for their balance of payments (BoPs) crisis, Sitharaman stated that the fundamentals of India are quite strong. Economic distress should be looked at in a holistic way, she said.

“The increase in average price of commodities, potato, onion, tomato between 2009 and 2013 was 164%, 324% and 160% respectively, today the prices of these commodities are held in control with the Government’s measures,” Sitharaman said. Meanwhile, she also stated that the Indian currency will find its own course and the Central Bank’s steps are not so much to set the value of rupee but to address the volatility.

She also said that India has withstood the impact of US Fed’s decisions as compared with the other peer group countries. ‘I would like to assure that there is no collapse of the currency,’ the minister said.