Ahead of the G-8 summit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday lashed out at the International financial institutions and others at their "lethargy" in dealing with the current global crisis over the oil and food prices and mooted a forum where producers and consumers can sit together to work out modalities to introduce a greater element of stability.
Speaking to journalists accompanying him on his trip to Japan to attend the G-8 summit, Singh said he regretted to note that the international community has been far less active to deal with the problem of oil crisis than was the case in the first crisis of 1973 or the second crisis of 1978.
At that time the international institutions came up with new facilities to help countries affected adversely. "But this time I think there has been lethargy. Our effort would be to nudge the international community and institutions to do more to deal with the consequences of the oil prices."
"As far as the oil prices were concerned, the first thing to know is what is contributing to it and it is here I am seeing that the international financial institutions have not performed their duty well," he said.
"There are people who say that the oil price muddle is directly the result of supply and demand, while there are people who say that it is largely a speculative increase due to the activities of speculators and large sums of money have been put into the futures market and other similar players.
"One would like the international financial institutions to pool their wisdom, knowledge and experience to educate the world as to what is the principal cause. Having said that, our effort is that instability and volatility in oil prices are neither in the interest of producers nor is it in the interest of consumers. And therefore I think we need to create a forum where producers and consumers can sit together and work out modalities to greater element of stability," he said.