Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told both the Houses on Thursday that he would make a statement on the state of the economy on Friday.
This was in response to Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley saying that given the economic situation and the depreciation of the rupee, the House expected the Prime Minister to make a statement.
“It cannot be denied that the country is facing a difficult economic situation... I do not deny that there are some domestic factors. But there are also international factors arising out of the change in the US economic stance. There are also problems created due to tensions that are on the horizon in Syria and they have inevitable consequences for oil prices,” the PM said. “I will be happy to make a statement tomorrow (Friday).”
Earlier, as the Question Hour began, Jaitley sought a response from the PM on the economic situation and depleting rupee.
“In a democracy the buck stops with the Prime Minister. It does not disappear with the Prime Minister. Therefore, since the Prime Minister has been silent all these days.... and I do believe he is the best person who can address us on this, the Prime Minister must take the House and the country in confidence on the steps he wants...”
Jaitley pointed to food inflation, higher oil prices in the worlds market, the falling rupee that would make imports all the more costlier and multiply inflation, and falling manufacturing and even service sector growth.
He then took a dig at finance minister P Chidambaram’s 10-point suggestions, saying it was just a “discourse in economic theory” when the country was actually moving towards stagflation He asked whether this was because populism was practiced while talking economic prudence, adding it would be difficult even to fund the populism.